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Some firms like to create excitement about their products through Buzz Marketing. Buzz marketing is viral advertising where carefully selected consumers are encouraged to talk about the product to friends and family in the hope that the "chatter" will create a buzz about their product. Firms will target people that are known as "trend setters", i.e. people who are usually doing what will soon become "the next big thing" before it becomes mainstream.
The Buzz Marketing process is illustrated in LearnMarketing.net's diagram below
Why Use Buzz Marketing?
From the early days, businesses without large marketing budgets have relied on buzz marketing as it is inexpensive. Premium ice cream manufacturer Haagan Dazs website states that its "early success was created by word of mouth and praise".
Buzz Marketing Aim
A buzz marketing campaign attempts to replicate natural word of mouth by making the customer feel that they have stumbled on a quality product by accident. For example Ford introduced their Focus car to consumers by asking a group of people to drive it around for six months. Similarly Vespa asked selected "trendsetters" to drive their scooters around. The task for the people driving around the Vespas and Focus was simple, no active selling or approaching people about the product. Instead they needed to wait for people to approach them and then talk enthusiastically about the products to anybody that asked about them.
Buzz Marketing Through The Internet
The internet has helped firms speed up the Buzz creation process. Instead of people talking in person about the product, word can spread rapidly through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and popular Blogs. Some movies like Twilight have benefitted from almost accidental buzz marketing via online users "spreading the word" whilst others such as the movie Cloverfield had trailers specifically placed on YouTube to create an "online buzz".
Some websites are created just to spread the word about any product that users may be interested in. For example Hotukdeals is a UK website where users place posts on great deals for products or services. Others users will rate the deal and this will either create a buzz or the opposite response (negativity) about the deal. Take a look at www.hotukdeals.com
Buzz Marketing will not work for all products and services as it is based on people "wanting to have" or "wanting to do" the next "big thing". Furthermore not all segments of the market are attracted to buzz products, it is more likely to appeal to younger consumers within the teenage or 20 something market. Buzz Marketing will only ever be a small part of a firm's marketing strategy as it is difficult to maintain a buzz. It is however an inexpensive way to kick start a marketing campaign especially for a new product or service.