“Buzz” isn’t something that just effortlessly happens. It is something that needs the active participation, careful planning, and integration. It is essential for marketers to influence the type of buzz that occurs. You can’t just sit back and hope that positive word of mouth will happen by some random chance. The term marketers use for the process of generating positive word of mouth influence is appropriately called buzz creation. There are also other terms that are used to describe this process that may be more familiar to some people. These terms include: diffusion marketing, street marketing, guerrilla marketing, and viral marketing. This process is both planned and organized in such a way that will encourage positive information to be spread about a certain brand, product, service, and etc.
Some of the most successful products obtained there success through the effective use of buzz creation. Apple regularly influences word of mouth communication to help launch its products. As the video in the previous entry talks about, the CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, used buzz creation to turn the company around. He created something new and something that would be talked about – he created “cute” computers by using a unique design and color combinations (see video for more information). One of the most important aspects of creating buzz is creating something that is very innovative and very unique.
Imagine your target market network as being like the airline transportation network. The airlines have a few main airports into which most of the flights are routed through. These main airports are called hubs. For example, a hub would be considered the New York JFK International airport. If you wanted to take a flight from San Francisco to Niagra Falls NY, you would probably have to first land at the JFK airport and then take another flight to a smaller airport in Niagra Falls. The Niagra Falls airport would be considered a node airport. Similarly, with word of mouth influence there are those individuals who are highly connected are like the hub airports, they are responsible in some way for most of the traffic, or in this case, influence. The individuals with less influence are like the node airports, they have some traffic, but usually only if they have had some influence with the main hubs. The nodes in the buzz network are similar; they have some influence on buzz, but that influence is limited, and without the “hubs” can’t reach much of the target market. Therefore, it could go without saying that the key to creating a buzz epidemic is to get essential information to highly influential / connected individuals (commonly referred to as influentials.
In my next blog entry I will be discussing specific steps that can be undertaken to create an epidemic. So check back soon! Let me know what you think and if you have any questions.
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