Buzz marketing is a new way to describe using word-of-mouth as a way to promote a product, service or idea.
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Customers, or potential customers, take what they have learned (a message or experience) and pass it on to others they feel would benefit from the information.
Why it Works
In a world where we are constantly hounded by the media, the last thing a potential customer wants to see is another advertisement about how a product is superior and why they should buy it.
Many have learned how to tune out these messages. Thanks to things such as TiVo and satellite radio, most people can skip advertising all together. This means companies are getting less for their advertising dollars, thus creating a need to find different ways to reach customers.
This is where buzz marketing comes to play. When information is relayed from a credible source such as friends, family, or coworkers, individuals are more likely to pay attention.
Buzz marketing is also very inexpensive. Simply encourage employees to mention the product or service in daily conversation. When you or your employees visit other local businesses, tell them a little more about your business, and ask them more about what they do. This can build a working relationship.
Customers are also valuable to this concept. Excellent customer service is not only a quality of any good business, but it gives your customer something to talk about. If your business has gone above and beyond the call of duty, it is a guarantee that positive recommendations will be passed on. Give customers something (positive) to talk about!
Where to be Cautious
Make sure the information you want to spread is "buzz-worthy." There is no point in trying to get others to talk about something of little interest. The message needs to be strong in order to create a strong reaction. The end product should also live up to the buzz created. People will be more dissatisfied if it does not live up to what they heard, than if they had purchased your product without any prior knowledge.
Negative information can be passed just as easily, if not more so, as positive information. It is said that people are more likely to pass on a bad experience than a good one because of the strong emotion felt from the bad experience. Learn from customer criticism. You are not only giving yourself the opportunity to fix the problem or improve the service, but you are showing the customer you care about their experience.
This can turn a negative experience into a positive one, thus increasing the chances that individual will become a repeat customer.