Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Buzz Differential

The internet, and more recently, the "blogsphere" is supposed to be a great way of generating "buzz" about your product or service. I've never really bought into that line of thought. Personalities aside, not many companies are, or should be, willing to build their brand on the mugshot of their Head of Marketing. It might be more useful to think of the Blogs, feeds, and websites as a good way of building potential or opportunity for conversation. After all, the battle is for the customers attention, to attract feedback, and to be more agile than your competitors. Even the internet search engines are moving towards rankings based on "degree of conversation". In this respect, understanding which particular event signal the potential requirement for an interaction, is probably a good place to start from. Large enterprises with professionalised marketing follow such "event triggers". If you are looking for a mortgage you are probably also in the market for white goods (kitchen refits). If you are a company that is announcing a merger, you are probably soon in the market for an IT integration service. Nielson BuzzMetrics has released a report that I am sure will become a kind of bible for evaluating the use of "buzz marketing". It helps if your product or service is used "frequently" by the intended audience (i.e. daily if not weekly). But the report is still surprisingly shallow in its approach. What I took from this report is that companies need to build real product differentiation, support that with intelligent, if not outstanding communications strategies, and realise that "Internet Buzz" will not make an OK product sell any better. But we all knew that, didn't we. Gaining, or creating the opportunity for understanding your customers "event triggers" is probably a better starting point for building interaction potential, and thus overall "buzz" around your product or service.

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