Advertising and buzz marketing

Buzz marketing is normally just one of the tools in the marketing communication mix and does not necessarily exclude ‘traditional’ advertising. In some cases a product is so contagious that advertising is not necessary (Rosen 2000, p. 206). Often however, a company will find that there is a lot of buzz in some networks while others need encouragement. A company can therefore use advertising as a follow up on its buzz marketing campaign. Studies have shown that influencers are hungry for information, therefore they read more and are more reachable through advertising than ‘average’ people (Rosen 2000, p. 207). Advertising can also be useful because it can assure people they are not alone. Many companies state it in their advertisement once 100.000 or a million products are sold because people are more comfortable sharing information with their friends about a popular product (Rosen 2000, p. 208). Also, advertising can be used to affect what people are talking about because word-of-mouth constantly changes and distorts. By broadcasting accurate information, a company can try to overcome this distortion (Rosen 2000, p. 209). Finally, some advertisements can generate buzz itself because people talk about them. Budweiser’s ‘Whassup?!’ commercials are a good example of this. However, very few ads become such mega-hits (Rosen 2000, p. 209).

Although there are many good reasons to use traditional advertising, it should be used carefully in combination with buzz marketing. This, because advertising can also heavily reduce the effects of a buzz marketing campaign (Rosen 2000, p. 213). A person tells his friends about new products because it makes him look like an innovative person but does not want to repeat a company’s propaganda. In general, customers do not like to feel that everything is too organized. “They talk more about something they discover than something everybody can see spread in The Wall Street Journal” (Rosen 2000, p. 214).

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