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Thoughts on Buzzmarketing

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I’m currently reading Buzzmarketing by Mark Hughes, a book about word-of-mouth advertising. I’m only about a 1/4 way through the book but as I’m reading through the book I keep comparing the ideas that he is presenting to experiences in my own life in order to understand the practical application of his ideas. I’m not a marketer by trade, this book is the first step in my goal to achieve a better understanding of marketing methods (especially marketing via social networking channels).

The two key concepts I’ve pulled from the first section of the book are: 1) the human desire of having something worthy of the interest of others 2) the effectiveness of creating a ‘pre-packaged conversation’ that people want to share with others. As I was reflecting on these two key concepts I’ve thought of a couple examples which show how these concepts play out in the ‘real world’.

The ‘Bed Intruder’ Song

The bed intruder song, virtually overnight, became the funniest most watched “have you see this?” video on YouTube pushing the song to the top 100 chart in iTunes. This video definitely pressed the ‘hilarious button’ that Mark talks about in his book.

Failed Door-to-Door Marketing

Open Range is a new internet service being rolled out in the town I’m currently living in. I don’t know much about the service other than it is lest costly than the standard cable + internet combo offered by Comcast. There is a door-to-door marketing effort going on in our neighborhood. I don’t like door-to-door marketers, I don’t want to talk to them and avoid conversation if at all possible. Mark recounts a story about a car company that used a ‘moose button’ to start the conversation between store employees and customers about a new brake product / sale. Each employee had a big button with the image of a moose pinned to their shirt. Something wierd or different that inspires the customer not the sales person to start the conversation. If this open range salesman had something interesting or weird to attract me to him I probably would of asked him what was going on, instead he approached me with the classic boring line “Have you heard of open range?”.

Having something worth sharing makes you feel as though you have some sort of unique worth, giving others this worth or ‘buzz currency’ in a way that is connected to what you are marketing seems to be the key to effective social / word-of-mouth marketing. The interesting thing about this marketing model is it preys on the insecurity of the human race, it assumes that people want to be noticed and approved of by others.