Monday, June 16, 2008

Buzz Marketing Tips Plus Pew on Going Straight to the Source

At least once a week, I find myself reading Guy Kawasaki's blog and saying, ummm, that's a really interesting post.

Kawasaki recently interviewed Dave Balter, who founded Boston-based BzzAgent in 2002, which has by now buzzed for dozens of Fortune 500 companies. He's also the co-founder of The Word of Mouth Marketing Association, which promotes "best practices" in the field and strives to protect consumers and the industry with strong ethical guidelines.

Here's an excerpt from the interview, which you can read in full here.

Question:
What are the components of an effective word-of-mouth marketing program?

Answer:
The most important thing is that companies tap into consumer advocacy without destroying what makes it so powerful: trust. Effective programs should ensure participants are:
  • Unpaid. Cash messes with our opinions!
  • Unscripted. People should say what they really feel, no matter how good or how bad.
  • Open. If someone is involved in an organized word of mouth program, the people they talk to should be aware of that.

A simple test is to ask yourself: would I feel ok if my eighty-year old grandma knew about this program? That will help guide you.

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In other news of note, BusinessWeek recaps another useful study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Adults are no longer content to read compressed news reports on political campaigns. According to the study:

...nearly 30 percent of adults have used the Internet to read or watch unfiltered campaign material -- footage of debates, position papers, announcements and transcripts of speeches.

"They want to see the full-blown campaign event. They want to read the speech from beginning to end," said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew group. "It's a push back from the sound-bite culture."

Google Inc.'s YouTube and other video sites have become more popular. Thirty-five percent of adults have watched a political video online during the primary season, compared with 13 percent during the entire 2004 presidential race.

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