The modern age is basically an age of information. Gone are the days where we relied on common mediums for this source but with the advent of modern media techniques things have improved by leaps and bounds. Read more »
The main driver of revenues for sports these days is television and cricket is no exception. The media has played a role in highlighting very large broadcast deals for sports like football and cricket. Sports clubs generate substantial revenues from channels through sponsorship and merchandising, which runs into billions every year. Read more »
India’s telecom industry is emerging as one of the biggest advertising spenders every year. In a country that has emerged as the biggest ad spenders in Asia-Pacific region, advertising has become a mainstream activity for most telecom operators. Read more »
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. Read more »
A survey conducted by Dimensional Research in April 2013 found that 90% of customers’ buying decisions are influenced by online reviews (Marketingland, 2013). Product reviews matter to them a lot, and they do not proceed with purchasing it until they are convinced of its functions. Sometimes, hypes are created about a product, influencing customers to buy the product. Most hypes are started by a handful of people, which means that in a given process some people matter more than others (Bellehemeur, 2008). Companies should thus focus on influential people.
Influencers throughout history as sales advocates
In every network there are people who communicate with more people about a certain product than the average person does. These people are called ‘network hubs’ but in the industry they are often called ‘influencers’ because they tend to influence other people’s decisions about products (Lee, 2012). The recognition of influencers is not new; Buzz Marketing Resource Center (2005) traced back the usage of influencers throughout history. These people do not need to be ‘big’ media like celebrities, politicians or the press, but can also be regular people who are influential or a source of information for certain products. The difference between these two is that ‘big’ media or mega-hubs as Rosen (2000) call them, spread information to many people one-way, while regular people or hubs spread information to less people but mostly two-way through interaction.
Who are the influencers?
The challenge for companies is to identify the influencers among their current and potential customers. Possible characteristics of influential people given in the literature (Rosen, 2000)are the following:
- Ahead in adoption.
- Connected to many people.
- Interest in travelling.
- More exposed to media than others.
- More motivated by brand and less by price.
- Value popularity of a brand.
- Express strong opinions.
- More demanding than others.
- More years of formal education than others.
- Favourable attitude towards change.
- And active information seekers.
A mistake some companies have made is to think that regular and satisfied consumers of their products will also spread the word. But there is no evidence for any correlation between satisfied customers and influencers (Rosen 2000).
Credibility of influencers matters
Credibility is an important issue in the effectiveness of people who spread the word about a product. People listen to people whom they trust and who give an objective opinion. Word of mouth has more effect if it comes from a third party other than from the company itself. It has to be mentioned though, that people often do not rely on a single source of information. That is why companies have to use word of mouth marketing initiatives in addition to other marketing activities.
- Bellehumeur, L. (2008). When To ‘Believe the Hype’ of a New Product. [online]. Available at http://seekingalpha.com/article/92448-when-to-believe-the-hype-of-a-new-product
- Lee, B. (2012). The Hidden Wealth of Customers: Realizing the Untapped Value of Your Most Important Asset. USA: Harvard Business Press.
- Rosen, E. (2000). The anatomy of buzz: creating word of mouth marketing. London: Harper Collins
- Marketingland (2013). Survey: 90% Of Customers Say Buying Decisions Are Influenced By Online Reviews. [online]. Available at http://marketingland.com/survey-customers-more-frustrated-by-how-long-it-takes-to-resolve-a-customer-service-issue-than-the-resolution-38756
In a survey conducted by AC Nielsen in April 2012, it was found that 92% of the respondents trusted earned media channels like word of mouth rather than traditional media like TV and print. It was further found that they trust strangers’ reviews about a product/ service rather than that company’s advertisements (Marketingmag, 2012). Word-of-mouth marketing therefore seems to be an appropriate tool to overcome advertising clutter. It is the act of consumers providing information to other consumers.
The growth of buzz marketing and word of mouth
Word of mouth occurs naturally when people talk about a product because they are happy with it and have a natural desire to share their enthusiasm. This is also referred to as organic word of mouth (Plummer et al, 2007). This kind of word of mouth is great for a company but it normally takes a long time to establish and it is completely out of a company’s control. A company can also choose to encourage or accelerate word of mouth. This is called amplified word of mouth (Plummer et al, 2007). An example of amplified word of mouth is the use of buzz marketing which can be defined as a manufactured marketing initiative that is intended to capture people’s attention and create word of mouth. Buzz marketing tries to capture attention of consumers and the media to the point where talking about their brand becomes entertaining, fascinating and newsworthy. Currently the term buzz marketing is frequently used among marketers and seems an appropriate substitute or addition to traditional marketing tools.
TV Advertising is less effective today
The impact of ‘traditional’ advertising seems to be decreasing because of the information overload experienced by consumers. Advertising experts estimate that each consumer may be exposed to more than fifteen hundred advertisements every day. Many consumers therefore, filter out most messages they are exposed to by mass media. They do, however, listen to their friends. Word of mouth marketing seems an appropriate tool to avoid advertising clutter and is therefore receiving more and more attention from marketing managers. Buzz marketing is a tool that can be used to generate and accelerate word of mouth. Over the years many researchers have studied and written about word-of-mouth and word of mouth marketing.
- Marketingmag (2012). Word of mouth more trusted than ever, trust in TV, print ads declines. [online]. Available at http://www.marketingmag.com.au/news/word-of-mouth-more-trusted-than-ever-trust-in-tv-print-declines-12568/#.Um4bhHDimoM.
- Plummer, J., Rappaport, S., Hall, T., and Barocci, R. (2007). The Online Advertising Playbook: Proven Strategies and Tested Tactics from The Advertising Research Foundation. New Jersey: Wiley.