Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Rumours a double edged sword!


Its seen that rumours is an effective way to create a buzz. In fact talking about rumours, i still remember when the Blasts took place in Bangalore, rumours of the a blast in a locality called shivajinagar with a death toll of 50 was all around the place. Whereas actually there was no blast anywhere close to shivajinagar. As expected this rumour had spread all around Bangalore in less than an hour after the blasts.

Any rumour is subjected to “flattening”, “sharpening” and “assimilation”, just to make the rumour a little more sticky. Where flattening is removing the parts of the story we feel is unnecessary, then sharpening is where we enhance the remaining part of the story and finally we assimilate to see if the story fits our shared mental framework.

Rumours though can be seen as a double edged sword. Looking at the positive side of rumour in a buzz campaign, the best example would be that of Apple. While listening to one recent episodes of 'This Week in Technology' i came across the fact that Apple has a 3-Tiered Marketing Model. Where Apple's policy of maintaining its secrecy with products has resulted in several rumour sites starting a buzz around the product long before its release. The other two tiers are mainstream media advertising followed by enthusiast sites.

On the flip side rumours can also spell the downfall of a buzz. If there are negative rumours against your brand it can have a bad effect on your brand equity. Consider a brand like say Nike, now any rumour about Nike would easily spread as most of us already assimilate with the brand Nike. Another example here would be that of 'Colas being very harmful for health', and the rumour that a woman supposedly used coke instead of acid to clean her bathroom and it had the same effect. Now this rumour spread like fire and had a big impact on sales of colas in India, and a few states like Kerala in India had even banned Colas for a brief period.

Hence think twice before you choose to go the rumour way in buzzing!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Create a Buzz not a Mess!

To create a great buzz there are a few simple rules that are to be followed-
  • Keep it subtle
  • Do Not make the product, service being promoted obvious
  • Keep few but related cues for people to comprehend
  • Controlling the people is more important than controlling communication channels such as television, magazine ads etc.

The above rules would be the very reason why i feel a buzz can be a double edged sword. Wondering WHY??

The first rule is that if u have a few subtle cues that arent noticed by your target segment, the buzz wouldn't serve its basic purpose. At the same time if u have too many cues it would end up being a advertising campaign and no more a buzz. Its paradoxical to get the right balance. The very existence of competitors in the market can lead you to divert away from being subtle, which on the other hand is nothing more than a knee-jerk effect to competitor's response to your buzz. The marketers basic purpose of getting noticed might be the driver of this reflexive action.

The second rule though is pretty obvious, coz if u make your end result evident in the earlier stages then your buzz would not create the necessary suspense, which inturn would result in people not wanting to know more. Moreover only if your campaign gives people something new to talk about they would be interested to spreading the word of mouth. This is where basic human mechanism is being used by marketers, a mechanism that Darwin would say is primary to the survival of the human race. It's human nature to talk about what's new. It's this behavior that helped us figure out what was okay to eat and wear. What places were safe and what places were dangerous. Millions of years later and these are still the things we're talking about - where to eat, what to wear, and what status symbols can help us advance in our society.

The third rule is equally important too. Say you consider a set of messages that are flashed out in a random order. Now when you conclude your buzz campaign the buzz would not have its intended effect on the target audience if its not a complete story, i.e. if all your messages don't culminate leading to your final message.

The fourth and final rule here is to forget about controlling the traditional channels of communication like television and magazine ads; rather if you can control the people and what they talk about, you'll achieve more with less effort. This follows the "Chaos Theory" which says that small changes can escalate to bigger ones and that people are the chaotic particles. On the flipside if u cannot control people and how they connect with your buzz, it would be a baseless attempt to doing nothing coz your intended message then wouldn't get through!

SO KEEP IT SIMPLE AND BE NIMBLE!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why Fuss just Buzz?

Finally a blog dedicated to only Buzz Marketing...

We begin our quest at the very heart by defining Buzz Marketing. According to whatis.com "Buzz marketing is a viral marketing technique that attempts to make each encounter with a consumer appear to be a unique, spontaneous personal exchange of information instead of a calculated marketing pitch choreographed by a professional advertiser."

Buzz marketing generally consists of subtle cues that are used to get the attention of the intended audience. They generally result in a sophisticated word-of-mouth campaign where consumers are flattered to be included in the elite group of those "who know" and willingly spread the word to their friends and colleagues....

Well for those who would love to eat, sleep and live with bzzzzzz here is your one-stop blogspot...

So just sit back and relax... Lets start bzzzzzzzzin' !!!