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Buzz: Harness the Power of Influence and Create Demand

By Marian Salzman, Ira Matathia and Ann O'Reilly

John Wiley & Sons, May 2003

In their new book, Euro RSCG brand stewards Marian Salzman, Ira Matathia and Ann O'Reilly suggest that marketers need to use more than conventional advertising to be heard above the din of today's 24/7 media bombardment. The authors do not tout “buzz� — popularity created by consumer word of mouth — as a new concept, nor do they think that traditional marketing tactics should be tossed to the wayside. They do, however, make the point that the challenge for marketers in today's world is to reach an increasingly fragmented audience of ever more cynical consumers. And because marketers have fewer ad dollars to help them meet that challenge, using buzz is an effective way to forge brand relationships and drive sales. The authors discuss such techniques for generating buzz as viral marketing, shock tactics and product seeding, and they present case studies of successful campaigns. Buzz stresses the importance of reaching proactive consumers, or “prosumers,� and it contradicts the conventional wisdom that the Alphas, or trendsetters, should be targeted in favor of reaching out to the “Bees,� or trend-spreaders.

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