New Marketing Trends

Marketing Ideas for Non-Profits and Libraries

The M Word helps librarians learn about marketing trends and ideas.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Isn't it time your library got buzzed?

Are you interested in Buzz Campaigns? Of course you are, you are in the library world where the potential for word of mouth marketing is limitless! Buzz campaigns address the changing focus from manager driven to consumer driven marketing and offer libraries some neat opportunities.

Well you've got to check out the website
Bzz. This website writes it all out for anyone interested in creating a Buzz campaign and better than that- you can become a Bzzagent and experience the whole thing first hand!

I came across Buzz when the owner,
Dave Balter, was interviewed as one of Tom Peter's "cool friends". Dave talked about how the company began and I was really fascinated. Of course I am always impressed when someone talks about how reading a book had inspired him to great ideas...

"I don't think anyone really invented word-of-mouth as a medium. It's part of our communication pattern. But certainly organizing, managing, and measuring it has been invented. I think it really started with people beginning to understand it. You can go back to Pattie Maes' word-of-mouth algorithms with Firefly, and then look at
The Tipping Point, Anatomy of Buzz, and Diffusion of Innovations by Everett Rogers to trace how innovations are being communicated among people.

You asked if someone invented word-of-mouth. I think it started with learning about it and witnessing it and understanding it, and then it moved to people asking, "How do we build approaches to harness this?"

He shared how his company solved that marketing problem by creating Bzzagents,

"In brief, anyone can sign up with us to become a volunteer "BzzAgent." This is something that we talk a lot about in Grapevine. When we started the company we were convinced that we wanted to build a system that would find only those Influentials, Sneezers, and Connectors that I had read about. The problem was that we couldn't get any money, because no one believed we could build a company out of this. So we didn't have the money to filter who could sign up to become a BzzAgent."

If you go to his website, you'll get the complete run down of the whole system. Take a look at it and you'll be able to see ways that your library can create something similar.

Before you say, "Yeah, but we can't afford to give away all those products and prizes." Listen to what Dave said about that,

"This is the interesting thing. In building the business, I thought that getting stuff would be the motivation. We actually built the Communications Development department just to have fun. But what we found was that interaction became really key to making the person feel involved and listened to. So when we ask people why they do this, they say things like, "Well, I like to be the first to know about things." "I love to have stuff to talk to others about." "I feel involved with the brand." "I'm being heard." "I finally get to be treated as part of the process and not being a target or being captured." It's about being involved as opposed to, "I get stuff.Very surprising, and yet really natural, when you think about it."

Dave said it and I agree, Buzz isn't about getting something, its about being part of something. New Jersey librarians have been doing a good job with this, especially our YA librarians but I haven't seen anyone create a format like Bzz. Would love to hear if you've come across any.

Worthy of the Buzz...

"Threadless T-shirts is an on-going tee shirt design competition, anyone can submit their design and if it gets a high enough score and is chosen by the Threadless crew it will be printed and sold from the site." - You have to visit this site- it is exciting to see such a great buzzsite!

If you liked Threadless, be sure to visit Marketing Profs - Karl Long is the one who wrote about Threadless T-shirts. He has some good stuff to share!

Quick web article reads:
5 Tips from Presslaff Interactive Revenue's Ruth Presslaff : "Word of mouth starts with 'mouth.' Mouths are attached to people, and a group of people constitutes a database," says Ruth Presslaff, president of Presslaff Interactive Revenue. "Unless you have a database of people, you don't have an audience to talk to and you don't have an audience talking about you."

5 Tips from PopularMedia's Jim Calhoun : "Getting a high volume of people to reach out across their social networks and talk about your brand is a lofty goal," says Jim Calhoun, CEO of PopularMedia. "Make sure the viral campaign has an actual goal attached to it." Here are Jim's five tips on getting campaigns to "go viral".

How-To: Generating Word of Mouth Wildfires: 5 Tips from Thomas Nelson Publishers' Greg Stielstra "The Purpose Driven Life," a religious book by a Southern Baptist minister, became the fastest selling hardcover book ever. How? "Word of mouth is NOT what happens in the absence of marketing; it is the natural consequence of marketing done right," says Greg Stielstra, VP of Marketing in the Christian Book Group for Thomas Nelson Publishers. "The way to harness its power is to build your marketing."

Contents: Word of Mouth Marketing, Buzz campaigns, websites to help libraries, customer driven marketing

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