GoSanAngelo.com DAVE ERICKSON Tuesday, July 28, 2009 “Do you want to know what the new “buzz” phrase in marketing is? Well, the new phrase is “buzz marketing.” Buzz marketing is used successfully by some businesses, especially those that have created a great product or service. They often use it in conjunction with more traditional forms of advertising and marketing. It is not really a new form of marketing but one that has received a new label in recent years. Buzz marketing simply means getting people to talk about your product or service in a positive way to their friends, associates and relatives. Another way of describing buzz marketing is word of mouth marketing, which most believe is an effective form of marketing. Positive word of mouth about your product or service can be powerful. This is true because it is human nature to believe the recommendations of people we know and trust. Buzz marketing is especially useful when people talk about your business to people you consider a target market, or those customers who are most likely to do business with you. Keep in mind a business may have different target markets and only few businesses try to be everything to everyone. The key is to try to focus your buzz marketing on people who are or will be your customers. How do you create buzz marketing? First of all, you need to have an excellent or interesting product or service. People are unlikely to discuss what is ordinary and mundane. But they will gladly tell other people about a product or service they found delightful or unusual. On the other hand, buzz marketing can work the opposite way. If you have a poor product or service, people will find that interesting to discuss with other people. Another way of creating buzz marketing is to simply ask happy customers to tell others about your business. In the past this method was more popular but somehow it became lost as an effective marketing tool. Sometimes doing the unusual will create buzz marketing. We have a local florist who hands out roses to thousands of people on a particular day every year. There is a lot of buzz in the days leading up to the event and many days afterwards, let alone the tremendous buzz created on the actual day of the event. I could not point to a better local example of what buzz marketing looks like. Keep in mind that technology has really increased the speed and effectiveness of buzz marketing through e-mail, blogs or social sites such as Facebook. Someone who is delighted about your product or service can create instant buzz with a keystroke by sending an e-mail to 100 people on her list. Who knows how many people it goes to from there? Blogs, or chat room type Web sites set up for people to discuss a particular topic, are another example of technology increasing the speed of buzz. The next time you are reviewing your marketing plans, consider positive buzz about your product or service. Used in conjunction with traditional advertising and marketing, it can make the difference for your business. Dave Erickson is director and Certified Business Advisor IV at Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. Contact him at David. Erickson@angelo.edu.
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