Buzz Marketing is another term for ‘Word of Mouth’ marketing, ie creating a ‘buzz’ as people spread the word about a product or service.
Buzz Marketing could be described as turbo-charged word-of-mouth marketing. The difference for me is that word of mouth advertising can happen at a low level. It’s great, and many creative businesses have developed using word of mouth recommendations between customers and their friends and colleagues. If my joiner does a good job fixing my gates, I’ll certainly recommend him when anyone asks about a good joiner. But this is not buzz marketing. For it to be buzz marketing, the joiner would have to do something so amazing that I would feel compelled to tell as many people as possible.
In other words, there would have to be a ‘story’ that I would want to tell and people would want to hear.
This is what Mark Hughes talks about in his book ‘Buzzmarketing: Get People To Talk About Your Stuff’. It’s also what Seth Godin writes about in his book “All Marketers are Liars” – which really should be called “All (Great) Marketers are Story Tellers” but that’s not such a catchy title. Nice one, Seth.
The point is that buzz marketing works by giving people a STORY that benefits THEM by telling it. They benefit because it’s a great story and people want to hear it – and the teller’s status is raised by telling it. To get a buzz going, you need to give people something to say which begins: “Hey! Have you heard about ….”
Buzz Marketing is about feeding the network with a great story about your product or service. It’s about true, authentic tales that people want to tell.
And though you can start a story, you cannot control it. The power is with the people. Customers are in control of the messages about your business, not you. Work with them not on them. Don’t advertise. Don’t shout your slogan. Instead, tell customers your story. Let your customers do the plogging (yes, ‘plogging’). They will anyway. So help them.
* Please contact me with your stories about successful (and even unsuccessful) buzz marketing campaigns so that I can share them with other creative enterprises – and publicise your business.