In the old days marketing was using a rather brutal language to stimulate customers to talk about their brand. A market was “penetrated” and the key was to “get the message out”. The ‘customer’ was grouped and sorted in demographics, stored in data marts, was sliced and diced to get maximum number of ‘eyeballs’ and increase in ‘traffic’. By the way “traffic” is nothing but a numerical count of IP Addresses visiting a website – no name, no face, no conversation. Marketing automation was about getting the biggest bang for the buck - no matter what the customers actually really thought or wanted.
In today’s world, customers, prospects and business partners have a face, a name. They are real people we can see every day in the online world. We can hear their voice through groups and forms, can get their opinion and feedback in real time and have the most accurate ‘market research’ with a click of a button.
A customers recommendation is more influential than any advertising. This has always been the case but there is an utmost significant difference between today and 5 years ago: Unlike in the past where “word of mouth” was basically 1 customer talking to 1 other person – in today’s online world 1 customer is talking to thousands of people within a blink of an eye. Understanding this critical difference is the key for understanding the economic importance of viral and Buzz marketing.
Instead of hoping that one customers talks to another one – or now, one customer is spreading the word online, why not proactively stimulating those mentions and recommendations. The more people talk about you, your brand, your products and services and your events, the better it is. As the old saying goes: “The worst thing to be talked about – is not to be talked about at all”. Buzz marketing is the technique to stimulate conversations in the market by providing stories that customers or partners are happy to share or craft in their own ways. This is even more important in times where 70% – 90% of purchase decisions are based on mentions and recommendations.
Prospects are attracted most by what other customers have to say. Smart and highly successful marketers not only don’t fear what’s said online – they actually turn it to their advantage and stimulate the conversation. In other words Buzz Marketing is a technique to work *with* the customers and amplify the customer’s voice and not shouting *at* the audience, hoping the message will resonate. The Buzz Cloud below shows in a nice way which of the marketing terms are of growing importance such as “inspiring, stimulating, mentions, reach, conversations…” and what terms get kind of pushed aside, such as “message, demographics, clicks, eyeballs…”
In essence: Marketing is no longer about pushing out a message, but stimulating a market to talk about their experience and what the brand is all about. And so Marketing just stepped up one level in sophistication and got a bit more demanding. Saying “we are the greatest” is no longer working. What you want is that your customers say that about you. In other words is not about your “Message” but about their “story”. And to help craft those stories is the new way of communication for successful marketers. Buzz is exactly that: “Crafting a simple story and providing a few places for your customers to share it”.
S3-Buzz is a product that marketers are using to craft little stories and providing places to share them by their customers. Those stories are crafted in a way that any customer is happy to share it and is also allowed to modify those stories – remember: it is not YOUR message, it is THEIR story. On a buzz page customers can share those stories with a simple click and post it on their LinkedIn, Twitter, Google or Facebook timeline and other places. Each click is basically creating a mention for the respective brand – and mentions is the new currency in brand reputation. The more people mention your brand, product, event and so forth the more value your brand gets and the more business it can expect.
Our customers have changed. They are better informed than ever. They call marketing messages “Bull Shit”. Customers are searching the web for references, customer experience from others and know exactly what a specific product or service will cost, independent of any promotion or advertising. And this is true for a consumer product such as a cell phone or a business decision to buy a new satellite to power those cell phones. If marketing is not respecting that change, the brand will slowly but steadily suffer in reputation, authority, competency and as a result in business success.
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By: Berrie Pelser
Posted: November 26, 2013, 6:37 am
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