Monday, October 31, 2005

Free Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing

Announcement: As part of our changes to make Buzzoodle more accessible to everyone, we have opened up the advanced features at no charge. As of November 1st, 2005, all current features in Buzzoodle are absolutely free. Group accounts for creating and tracking Word of Mouth Marketing with an organization’s advocacy base is now open to everyone.

What else is now free?

  • Word of Mouth Team Management
  • Event Calendar Posting
  • Custom Buzz Challenges
  • Advanced Buzz Reports

Buzzoodle is able to offer these services for free because the demand for custom word of mouth marketing campaigns has been high and the Buzzoodle staff will generate more revenue from these Word of Mouth Marketing consulting projects.

The Buzzoodle staff continues to make improvements that will enhance the Buzzoodle community. On the horizon are the ability to measure buzz for multiple products, advanced buzz measurement features and the ability to meet other people using Buzzoodle in the Buzzoodle system. Sign Up Here

Accidental Viral Marketing that creates a buzz

Viral Marketing Heaven: Homemade Video Gets 2.5 Million Downloads
Here's a viral-by-mistake marketing story you gotta love: This summer alt pop band OK Go were getting ready for a tour to promote their second album. So, there they were in a Chicago-area backyard practicing a dance routine to go with one of their songs, 'A Million Ways'. The problem with practicing a dance routine in a back yard (as opposed to, say, in a dance studio) is there are no mirrors, so you can't see how you look. Which is why the guys decided to tape the thing on a video camera set up on a tripod. They did their three-minute routine a few times and then checked the video. One of their girlfriends thought the video looked so fun that she begged them to release it as their official video instead of the "real" video they were planning to do with a professional director. The band laughed at her. Thereupon, she posted the video online and emailed a couple of friends to get a second opinion. Two point five million downloads later......... Read All

Duct Tape Marketing Advice

Duct Tape Marketing has some excellent advice. Make every piece of communication a marketing piece. Or you could make every communication buzzworthy.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Managing Expectations

Sometimes something seems very simple to you. Sometimes something you do does not seem like a big deal but to the person you do it for, it is a big deal. This Halloween, I am reminded of this by my daughter. About a block away, there is a house that for the last three years has done something extraordinary for the kids that stopped by. One year the person gave out a bucket of candy to each kid and one year he gave out those super sized candy bars. He made a point of asking “Have you been to the good house yet?” “Which house?” the kids would ask. “Wait, my house is the good house.” So this year, when we went down to his house, which is out of the way, we were surprised that the light was not on. I could see they were home, but not doing it this year. We still had a great time, but it did let the air out of the experience a bit. Expectations were high. Now think of your customers as kids at Halloween and think about what they walk away thinking. Porch light out: They don’t care about me. One Tootsie Roll: They are doing the minimum to get by. Take a couple of things, sweetie: Generous and care about me. Full size candy bar: I will remember to come back to this house next year, along with 50 of my friends. If you are going to be special, be ready to make special a SOP [standard operating procedure] because once people think of you as special, ordinary will be very disappointing.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Customer Service and Buzz

Today I will illustrate the difference between good customer service and bad, with real world examples. Example of Bad Customer Service Resulting in Bad Buzz David Lorenzo in NYC has had issues with TypePad for a week or so and if you go back through the posts you can see his level of frustration and the desire to simply get some clear answers. Example of Good Customer Service Resulting in Good Buzz I recently said some critical things about GoBig in the Virtual handshake Blog Comments and was very impressed with the 15 minutes it took the Go Big Network people to find the post, reply to the message and drop me an email. Turned negative to positive. Do your employees that are answering the phone, doing support and training people know that caring about the customer experience is essential to creating positive buzz? Make sure they do.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

HR and Employee Buzz

Thanks to Regina Miller for what she is adding to the discussion on employees buzzing about where they work. She has a very nice HR blog and oddly enough, people regularly say the Buzzoodle is as useful in HR as marketing, because of the positive effect it can have on employees in an organization. I couldn't agree more about giving them something to Buzz about. It only works in a great place to work.

Grow your organization through creating buzz for others

In a recent post I suggested building other people's personal network as being a key to expanding your own. That also applies to organizations. If you want to increase membership to a chamber of commerce, a country club, a networking group or other type of group that wants businesses to join it, a great thing to do is give them some PR before asking them to join. Today I went to a breakfast and the local chamber of commerce, where I had just done a speech the month before, and they mentioned us as a local innovator to a large crowd. Not focusing on us, but working us into the presentation about regional success. At some point I just have to return the love, even though we are an internationally focused company. Likewise, I get Crain's Cleveland because they write about us, not because I have time every week to read it. In fact, if I were a publisher I would find ways to write about more people more frequently because that is a great way to increase readership in a shrinking market. Help businesses grow and give them free exposure, and you will get their gratitude and involvement in your effort more times than not.

Word of Mouth Catch Up

I just had lunch with someone who has been the CEO of several large, international companies and his point of view was this: If P&G is doing word of mouth marketing, everyone else better be doing it soon, or the marketing professionals will lose their jobs. He also did not seem concerned about the current negative backlash in the news for word of mouth and P&G. Good news for us on the cusp of this trend.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

7 Employee Buzz Creation Incentives

Why would an employee want to create buzz for the place they work? First off, the success of an organization is the responsibility of every person who gets a paycheck. Assuming buzz is not part of a job is like assuming showing up at the scheduled work time is optional.

It is important that employees understand the advantages of creating buzz for an organization. There are the obvious advantages an employer may wish to do, such as monetary incentives, rewards or bonuses based on increased business or stepped up buzz efforts.

Here is a brief summary of some of the other employee buzz creation incentives.

Employee Buzz Creation Incentive #1: Successful companies can give bigger raises.

Employee Buzz Creation Incentive #2: Job Security. Companies will be less likely to outsource the jobs of employees that are creating positive word of mouth and buzz.

Employee Buzz Creation Incentive #3: When employees become better connected and create more word of mouth, they are going to know more people and be recognized as a valuable resource. This may lead to other opportunities in the future.

Employee Buzz Creation Incentive #4: Secure company future by helping build it's reputation and visibility.

Employee Buzz Creation Incentive #5: Become a more influential person by learning how to create buzz and word of mouth about the organization as well as about other things they care about.

Employee Buzz Creation Incentive #6: Increase friendships and industry connections as they reach out to create more buzz and build their personal network.

Employee Buzz Creation Incentive #7: Stand out in the eyes of peers and managers as someone who goes beyond the normal scope of a job and is dedicated to the success of the organization.

This is an incomplete list of employee incentives and benefits for creating buzz for their place of employment. The truth is that each employee will have a different experience that will have a different set of benefits to that person. Employers must keep positive, illustrate the benefits and continue to create buzz about creating buzz by recognizing top employee buzz performers.

Create Things People Will Talk About

I was driving back from Solon to Kent, through Twinsburg, which was the mid point of where I was headed and I got a call. It was from a potential client that was located in Twinsburg. He wanted to bounce some ideas off of me. It just so happened that I was 2 blocks from their office, so 30 seconds after the call I was walking through their door. Keep in mind I'd never been in their office before, but had noticed the sign in the past. Why is this important? I took advantage of a random occurrence to create something they will be telling other people about. I could have handled it by phone, but this was a chance to be memorable.

TRENDWATCHING.COM Newsletter | Global Consumer and Marketing Trends

Thanks to Trend Watching for recognizing Buzzoodle as a trend to watch in their newsletter TRENDWATCHING.COM Newsletter Global Consumer and Marketing Trends November 2005

Monday, October 24, 2005

Importance of Real Email

Why is it important to have a real email address with your name in it? This morning I am trying to send a referral to someone I know. I like that fact that in Outlook, I can start typing someone's name and the email appears. I like to save time and not need to remember anything. I know this individual prides himself on the fact that he does not have a website, does not have a company name that is easy to remember, and obviously has some obscure email that does not contain his name. So now I am forced to go look him up. It is only an extra 10 seconds, but in the world of doing someone a favor, you want to make it as easy as possible.

Marketing Trends and Chance Encounters

Here is some good reading for today: Marketing Trends - Future trends of marketing. I think technology to manage word of mouth should be in there though. David Lorenzo's Mastering the Random Encounter - This one is tied closely to Buzzoodle as part of the Buzzoodle philosophy is taking advantage of chance encounters. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Practice Introductions

If there were only one thing I could do with all of our employees, I would spend a little time with them practicing introductions and stressing the importance of first impressions and word of mouth. Employees should know how to introduce themselves, convey what the company does in a sentence or two and be memorable. They should know when to give a business card, and when to follow up. If you do not work with employees, those that are not in sales and marketing will always say what they do, and not how the company helps it's clients.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Image: Blend In or Stand Out

What is your Buzz Factor? When you go to the closet to pick out your clothes, do you choose something that blends in or stands out? Are you trying to be invisible or in the spotlight? On a scale of 1 to 10, consider what your buzz factor is for various parts of your life and business. Dress: Buzz Factor 1 – I dress to match the people I am going to meet. I choose business neutral colors. I hear blue makes people trust you. Buzz Factor 10 – I choose clothing to stand out and let people know I am fearless. I create my own trends and people imitate my style. Website: Buzz Factor 1 – We have all the pages everyone else has. About Us, Contact, Products, Services…. And we have blue because we know that means people will trust us. Buzz Factor 10 – Our website engages the visitor. We are not afraid to state opinions, use bold colors and create pages that challenge people to think. We encourage employees to post on our site and in their own blogs. Business: Buzz Factor 1 – We keep at it and are making a modest profit. Buzz Factor 10 – We are nimble and not afraid to dump poor performing products, change direction or start new lines of products and services. We swing for the fence and what we do have a certain cool factor to it. We turn some customers away when it is not a good fit. Marketing Materials: Buzz Factor 1 – Our Logo is straight out of the sixties and it is what our target market expects from us. Buzz Factor 10 – We market in many different new mediums and use bold colors and images that differentiate us from others in our industry. We create viral marketing messages and pay close attention to word of mouth marketing. These are just some of the categories in which you can measure your buzz factor. Take time to understand how much buzz in each area is good for you and your business, and then start moving up the scale. Your goal should be to get noticed as an innovator, as your own person, and get people to talk about you positively to the people around them.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Techo Geek Sticker Buzz

Here is a new buzz challenge for you. Get some ultra cool stickers of your company made and get trendy, high profile people to put them on their laptop. See Rafe's Blog here.

Viral Halloween Scare

Some friends did a fun thing. They set a basket of candy outside the porch at night, rang the doorbell and ran. It had a spooky poem in it, along with candy and such. The thing I like about it is that it says you have to do it to two other people. So tonight we went out to buy things to do it to two more families. As long as we do not get shot, it should be fun. Needless to say, my daughter loves this and the viral nature of the thing is a lot of fun. We are pretty sure who did it, so we are going to do it to other people to see if it spreads. Maybe one key to viral marketing should be to get people's kids excited. Of course, we know that can get you in all kinds of trouble. - Maybe the candy company started this.

Brands at Home

Yesterday I posted a list of things I talked about through the first part of the day. Later in the day I noticed how different my talk was with my family.
  • Survivor (Positive WOM)
  • The Apprentice (Positive WOM)
  • Pony Pals (Positive WOM)
  • The Sunflower (Positive WOM)
  • Silk Soy (Positive WOM)
  • Chipotles (Positive WOM)
  • Cingular (Positive WOM)
  • T-Mobile (Negative WOM)

No doubt there was more, but I was not writing them down. Just making a mental note in my head. Is your product or service something people talk about at work or at home?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

David Lorenzo's Experiment

Please see david's post on sending personal, hand written notes to people he has read about in the news. Now consider if everyone in your organization did this once a month!

Guerrilla Marketing and Buzz Marketing

How does Guerrilla Marketing and Buzz Marketing compare? Guerrilla Marketing is usually low cost or free marketing that promotes the product or service in a creative way. Buzz Marketing can be inexpensive or very expensive in an effort to create something worth talking about and generating lots of word of mouth. Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing combines Guerrilla Marketing and Buzz Marketing by utilizing businesses employees and other advocates to create word of mouth and buzz in a guerrilla fashion. Example One: Employee Email Challenge Buzzoodle often challenges employees to follow up with people they have not talked to recently and see how they are doing. Imagine if a company of 500 people followed up with one more person each week. What if signatures in those emails were made to sing and get noticed? Guerrilla Marketing Tactic: Email is cheap and no one is less productive sending one email more each week. Buzz Marketing Tactic: Five hundred people more per week hear about the company. Soon people notice a difference. Your company is friendlier, more responsive, better connected. Example Two: Employee Blog Posts Buzzoodle encourages active online participation of employees with computers and internet access. What happens if every employee starts either writing a blog or commenting on other people's blogs? Much higher visibility, inbound links and curiosity about the company. Plus the public feels your company is more accessible. Guerrilla Marketing Tactic: Free blogs and comments have no cost. Time to post on them is minimal and they will create more visibility for the website. Buzz Marketing Tactic: With so much more visibility on the web, people will notice the buzz and start paying attention. One of the most powerful aspects of Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing is when people start seeing your company name and message in various places. Example Three: Better Networking Buzzoodle encourages every employee in an organization to understand the power of word of mouth and start becoming better networked. Some will do this better than others, but everyone increasing their network, even by just one new person a month, adds value to the company. Guerrilla Marketing Tactic: Utilizing free events, and employees networking in their free time allows a company to get greater value per employee and helps the employee be more successful in the future. Buzz Marketing Tactic: Some of the people that employees meet will be well connected and enjoy talking about the company and the people they know. Once a few of these people know people at your company, they will create incredible buzz about the products and services you have to offer. Example Four: Write to a Media Professional Buzzoodle encourages employees to reach out to their favorite authors, radio hosts, reporters and TV anchors. Send them email or letters of ideas and praise. Be sure to mention where you work. Guerrilla Marketing Tactic: Inexpensive and can result in huge visibility if your company is talked about in the press. Buzz Marketing Tactic: One quick email can result in a jackpot of PR if you end up in the news or on a well known author’s blog. These are just four examples of how Buzzoodle challenges employees to create more buzz for the company they work for. It is part Guerrilla Marketing and part Buzz Marketing, but most of all it is just plain smart. Find out more:

Word of Mouth Buzz

For fun, today I have kept track of who I have talked about. This list does not include the people I actually met with.
  • Greater Cleveland Growth Association (Positive WOM)
  • Tipping Point (Positive WOM)
  • Idea Virus (Positive WOM)
  • Walmart (Negative WOM)
  • Buzz Marketing (Positive WOM)
  • David Lorenzo (Positive WOM)
  • Target (Positive WOM)
  • Healthy Body Weight - Move It, Lose It, Live Healthy (Positive WOM)
  • One Cleveland (Positive WOM)
  • Conoco Phillips (Positive WOM)
  • Oprah (Positive WOM)
  • City of Cleveland (Positive WOM)
  • Youngstown Business Incubator (Positive WOM)
  • White Hat Management (Positive WOM)
  • Kentucky Derby (Positive WOM)
  • Brewed Fresh Daily (Positive WOM)
  • Tim Russo (Negative WOM)
  • Cleveland Plain Dealer (Neutral WOM)

Those are from two meeting and one phone call so far today. Try it out and keep track of all the sales [buzz] you do on behalf of other people and companies. Then find ways to craft your message and product to have people do it for you.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Buzz Marketing with Former Employees

While some employees leave on bad terms, many others leave out of boredom or to increase pay. Many employers take it personally when someone leaves, but I look at it as an opportunity to send an advocate to a new location. Since we only hire highly skilled people and I know they will perform well in a new company, that immediately shines a good light on us. However, I am more proactive than that. I encourage everyone to be open an honest and support decisions to move on. I have only one requirement, and that is to stay in touch. These people already know well what we do and how we encourage Buzz and word of mouth, and I know many keep that going beyond working for us. How can you keep former employees buzzing about your company?
  • Email them at least every other month. Maybe do an ex employee eNewsletter.
  • Do an exit interview. Find out why they are leaving, if they would be interested in returning at some point, and let them know you appreciate them continuing to talk about the good aspects of the organization.
  • If appropriate, offer a commission on any sales they bring your way, including their new employer.
  • Build a online staff and alumni community. This could be a good way to find about something that was done before an employee left.
  • Outsource additional weekend work to ex employees, if they are interested.

Employees that leave your organization can be a great resource, and if they are leaving on good terms, had a positive experience and are kept up to date and excited about your company, even ex employees can be a great source of Buzz.

P&G Buzz Marketing Ethics

Please use the comments on this post and say what you think about this issue: P&G Buzz Marketing My personal feeling is that if Proctor and Gamble is not paying or coaxing these people to lie, this is not an ethical issue. Product samples hope to get people to like something, buy something and tell their friends. If, instead of calling is Buzz Marketing, they called it free sample request list, it would be less sexy but the same thing. And probably not get people up in arms. I can't say I know all the details, but this does not seem to be a big deal if they are not shaping the message.

Killing Excitement - Killing Buzz

Someone recently emailed me to join another one of those online communities. I went ahead and did it, because even if I am only active in two or three, it is good to have a profile out there in as many places as possible. They then encouraged me through email to post a need, and I took them up on it. Keep in mind, I was not committed to the community, just toying with it. I filled out the long form and carefully checked it to be sure it represented us well, then I hit save. It wanted to charge me $60 to post it. ?? Never mentioned initially or I would not have wasted my time. Not too much money, but I am not sure they have enough people involved in it to make it worth my while. Pissed me off that I wasted my time. What is the lesson? Tell people pricing up front before you have them spend time on something. I have never since logged into that community because I do not trust it. Reflecting on this will influence future versions of Buzzoodle as well, where we plan to move to completely free access and posting.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Unlikely Sales Cycle

Most sales people talk about the sales cycle from the first contact to the close. Even if you are not intentionally using Buzz Marketing, buzz will be an undercurrent to your visible sales cycle. Here are some examples of non-traditional sales cycles.
  • Provide great customer service. When someone quits that job (your client) they will probably move to someplace else that can use your product or service. This is one reason it is so important to be memorable.
  • Long chains of Buzz: We can trace back clients to a chain of 5 connections. Consider that a quick conversation you have today could lead to your biggest client in two years. Create a little buzz in every conversation and you increase the odds.
  • Keep in touch with other employees from old jobs. Lots of people will move up and out to new companies and may one day be clients.
  • Smaller clients may become big clients. Consider how giving great service to smaller clients can generate buzz and new clients, as well as grow into a bigger client. If a client is too small to do a great job with, do not take them on at all.
  • Follow up and ping [email or call] occasionally. Sales can be about timing, and it may take months to capture someone's attention. If you meet someone, be sure to keep in touch and see where it goes.

We have gotten sales in all of these ways. All of them took much longer than our normal sales cycle, but they were also things that took minimal effort and we would have done anyway.

Use the comments on this article to post unlikely sales that you have gotten.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Word of Mouth Tactics: Honest Marketing

Here is an article by Andy Sernovitz of WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) at iMediaConnection. WOMMA CEO Andy Sernovitz spells out the differences between honest word of mouth marketing and sleazy stealth campaigns.

Boiled Down Goals

Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the ideas and day to day work and to forget that there is a core goal. For a business, the core goal is to make money. Period. Otherwise you are a non-profit. Your personal goals may be to help people and make everyone feel warm and fuzzy, but by definition, a business must have at it's root, the goal of being profitable. Take this same outlook to the department level, and now marketing can be boiled down to "Make people that were not aware of us, aware of us." Judge each advertising effort this way. How many additional people are aware of us. (This does not mean how many people glossed over your ad.) Sales department is to convert people that are aware of you into people that are paying you. If you write the core goal of each area, and have people report on how they met that core goal, then measuring success becomes more easy.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

How to Generate Traffic for your Blog

I am not on the Blog A-List yet. At the same time, I can say that my Blog traffic is going up, and in the last six weeks it has gone up spectacularly. We started this blog in June and the first two months were slower, but if you stick with it you can start to develop a serious amount of traffic. Here are things you can do to get more traffic for your blog:
  • Post Every Day
  • Watch Technorati and use hot words in your blog
  • Have a clear theme that people will find valuable so you get readers that want to come back
  • Make Blog Friends. (Link to other people's blogs and they will probably link back to you.)
  • Don't be too bland. It is ok to ruffle some feathers sometimes
  • Do some search engine optimization on your blog.
  • Actively comment and use trackbacks on other blogs
  • Put your blog on your website and business card
  • Use specific names, brands and words. People search on these.
  • Quote good content on your blog from other blogs, be sure to reference it.

Feel free to add to this list in the comments area. What works for you?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Fast Company can create some excellent buzz for you.

Want Buzz? Win This. From Marketing Sherpa:
Fast Company has at last opened the nominations forms for its 5th annual Fast 50 contest. This year the focus is on creative individuals likely to change the world in the next decade. All nominations are posted live online for everyone to surf, so pay attention to the form where it says (repeatedly) check for typos before clicking "submit." You don't want the world to mock your bad spelling. Deadline 11:59 pm ET, Nov 24th:

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Build Other People's Personal Networks

One way to grow your network is to help people in your network grow their own. This does not have to be introducing them to someone you already know. Consider finding out who an associate of yours would like to meet and giving that person a call and having the three of you meet for lunch. You get to meet the person, you strengthen the relationship with the other person, and they are going to want to find a way to help you or introduce you to someone you want to meet. Helping others grow their network can also create some buzz. Think about the conversation afterwards. "I just met Ms. XYZ. I always wanted to meet her." "How did you meet them?" "Mr. [You] introduced me to them at lunch." The buzz will soon be that you are helpful and well connected.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Squidoo and Buzzoodle - Buzz Brand Names

When it comes to Buzz, naming can be a very important. A lot of business consultants will council against naming something with an unusual name. When I came up with the name Buzzoodle, I believe the absolute best comment from my staff was, "I will give it some time. It might grow on me." Now they love it. With the recent attention being paid to Seth Godin's Squidoo, I am reminded of the risk we took with the Buzzoodle name. When choosing a brand name, what are the positive and negative things to consider for naming something with an unusual name? Negative Aspects: Hard to Spell If you go to, or you will be forwarded to because we knew people would misspell it. I noticed that is also already reserved by the same person in charge of Smart move on their part. Doesn't Sound Professional If I was going to start a financial services company, Buzzoodle or Squidoo would not be a very professional name. People do not want their financial planners to have fun, after all. For a cool, cutting edge company, they still run the risk of having someone say "From Where!" when they have never heard of you before. That is not bad in the end, because they remember it and after hearing the company name from multiple sources they feel like they are in the know. Think about how silly some big names sounded before anyone one had heard of them (Google, Yahoo, Dogpile, Technorati) Positive Aspects: Memorable You might think it is a bit silly the first time you hear it, but you do remember it. It begs the question, "What is that?" Own the Internet If you have created a unique word, almost every reference to your name will really be about you. I know that before Buzzoodle was launched it was not to be found on search engines. I am guessing Squidoo is much the same. Become a Household Name A memorable, unique name is more likely to stand out and become a household name if the product lives up to the promise of the fun, unique name. It is just easier to make an impression if you do not get lost in the crowd. If you are hearing about Squidoo and Buzzoodle, there is a good chance you are hearing about tomorrow's cool brands that will be part of a well known landscape of innovation. Version one is not the end, it is the beginning, if it captures people's imagination and is sticky like peanut butter.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Buzz Marketing: Make Someone a Hero

Anyone holding down a job and a family (you remember, those people that are always at your house when you stop by) know the challenge of doing a superior job and still having your spouse and children think you are great. One buzz technique I believe is very powerful is to make the people you want to connect with seem like a hero in their family's eyes. On a small note, I like those kids gifts at trade shows, and my daughter loves to see me go to them. But what are bigger things you can do that will have an impact on the way someone is perceived by the people that mean the most to them in their life? If you go down this path, remember that not everyone is married, has kids or ever wants to. Have a way to know and something that will not leave those people feeling neglected. Here are some quick ideas, but the bigger the better. The more memorable it is the more you will create wom.
  1. Send flowers on behalf of client to spouse, when they purchase something. Let them hand write the card.
  2. Have an open house that includes people bringing kids and family.
  3. Send a basket or gift for special occasions.
  4. Send a letter or other acknowledgement to the home praising the person for something they did.
  5. Create a club for kids, such as a Junior (Fill in your industry) Club. Invite people to have their kids participate.

These kinds of things are true for your clients, prospects and your employees. Remember if you do something memorable and tie it to your organization, chances are you are going to create a lot of WOM.


There is an interesting post about Seth Godin's Squidoo here. I commented on the blog, as did many other people. If you are interested with how the internet works and how it might work in the future, check it out.

Buzz Marketing Ideas

Seven Free Buzz Marketing Ideas you can use to build buzz for your organization. Here are seven free Buzz Marketing Ideas that you can use to create more regional buzz for your organization. Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing encourages lots of buzz marketing efforts in an ongoing way utilizing a variety of employees. Buzz Marketing Ideas: #1 Ask your customers what they like best about your product or service. Ask them if they talk about you with other people and what they say. Use this information to craft good buzz stories and encourage your employees to work them into their every day conversations. Buzz Marketing Ideas: #2 Create a local Blog and have people in your organization update it with interesting things going on in the area. Make sure it is clear that your organization is sponsoring the Blog. Buzz Marketing Ideas: #3 Visit businesses within a short distance of yours. Let them know what you do and find out more about what they do. Invite them into your business to meet some of the staff. Buzz Marketing Ideas: #4 Throw a dinner party (or lunch) for a group of people you would like to meet and could have a positive impact on your organization. Be sure to have some interesting buzz worthy stories to tell about your organization. Buzz Marketing Ideas: #5 Email a reporter, writer or other media professional at least once a week and let them know you like their work and offer ideas you have for stories. Contact different people in different weeks, and try to develop a relationship with some of the people that could eventually write a story that would create buzz for your organization. Buzz Marketing Ideas: #6 Surprise a current customer or client. The more often you pleasantly surprise your customers the more likely they will be to talk about you to other people. The more frequently you do this and the bigger the surprise the more buzz you will create. Buzz Marketing Ideas: #7 Strive to be worth talking about. Review customer service, support, product quality, customer relationships and attention to detail. No matter how hard you try to create buzz, it will be short lived once people see a product or service that does not live up to all the hype. Bonus Buzz Marketing Ideas: #8 Write an article and put it on your website that uses key words your target audience may search on. This article was written to get search engine results for Buzz Marketing Ideas because we noticed a fair amount of traffic coming to our site already with this keyword search, and we wanted the site to rank higher. These are just a few of the over 200 Buzz Marketing Ideas in the Buzzoodle system.

Monday, October 10, 2005

When is Less More?

In marketing, less is often more. We provided no information on the secret Buzzoodle kickoff event and filled it up quickly. Recently we have been cutting back on the amount of explanation on the Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Website and registration is going up. This will not be a surprise for many people but it is always interesting. We will be continuing to simplify the message as we go, and do more press releases.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

TypOz R gr8T

Why do you need a great, compelling signature for your email? For other people's typos. Whenever I see a typo on a website I politely email the person and point it out. With how easy it is to make them in this fast paced web publishing world, I do not see an occasional typo as a problem, but I know most people do not want errors on their site and appreciate the chance to correct them. So I send a one or two sentence email that says, you may want to correct the typo here, on this page, Love the site. What this does for me is they get my email, and I am not selling anything, just being a good visitor and helping them out. Of course they are going to read my email signature and if it is intriguing, they will visit my site, blog, etc. And since I visit lots of sites of interesting people and professionals, I have opportunities to connect and there is no threat. My only caution here is do not nit pick a site. I have had English professionals go on and on about errors in a webpage, without specifying what they are, and I have been unable to find the problem. That is just annoying and not helpful at all.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Marketing Class Blogs to Monitor

I stumbled upon a blog of a professor at Miami University of Ohio today and he had an assignment for students to pick a blog and follow it for his marketing class. I thought you might be interested in his list. For my own buzz effort, I am emailing him and letting him know that if he includes my blog in upcoming classes, I am happy to correspond with any students that want to follow it. Students of today are clients and partners of tomorrow. Here is the list that Mark Lacker posted.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51.

Influential People

As a follow up to our own philosophy and the articles I mention in yesterday's post, I wrote an article on influential people in the buzzoodle buzz resource center. I challenged people at the end of the article to mention which influential people you would like to meet, in the comments. Here or in that article is fine if you are interested. One funny side note. Because the article is about meeting influential people, the google ads are all about meeting singles and such. Now I just feel like a dating service. :(

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Some mornings are just a lot of good reading

For your buzz creation: David Lorenzo has a post that is like a better written version of what I try to keep reminding people. His post references Duct Tape Marketing. Something to think about if you are in charge of advertising. Chris Baggott has an interesting read about the end of advertising.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

What Is Appreciative Inquiry

Buzzoodle Consulting has a phase that talks to an organization's employees and identifies great stories, what the company does well, buzzworthy news, etc. It focuses on the positive. I just got off the phone with someone who told me about Appreciative Inquiry, which does the same thing. The difference is that the Appreciative Inquiry is geared to problem solving and moral boosting in the company as an end product. Buzzoodle does that as a by product. It is nice to be able to put a name to something we have long felt is a big advantage of going through our process. The very fact that you focus on the positive and ask employees questions has a give impact on company culture and moral.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Word of Mouth Marketing is not a Gimmick

Word of Mouth Marketing is not a gimmick. It is not a trick to get everyone talking nor is it hiring a bunch of strangers to promote your product for pay. It is also not having a blog. Word of Mouth Marketing is an ongoing commitment to excellence. Word of Mouth Marketing is being unique and buzzworthy. Word of Mouth Marketing is understanding that people talk and finding out what they are saying about you. Good Word of Mouth Marketing pays attention and heads off less than positive word of mouth. It turns the negative into a positive. Good Word of Mouth Marketing is finding ways to turn up the volume on genuine stories and opinions that paint your product or service as something special and noteworthy, even if the exact same thing is sold by someone else. Great Word of Mouth Marketing is getting advocates that are already familiar with your product or service to understand the power of word of mouth and to work your story into more genuine conversations. Employees can be a wonderful Word of Mouth Marketing tool. Great Word of Mouth Marketing monitors the buzz of your product or service and feeds fresh stories to advocates by being exceptional every day. If you want to understand Word of Mouth Marketing better, do the following. Carry a pad and pen, or use one of those newfangled PDA devices, and record each time you talk about a product or service and what you say about it. Review the product list, whether it was positive or negative word of mouth, and what benefits of the product or service you found buzzworthy. Ask yourself if your potential clients would find your products worth talking about. Use tools like Buzzoodle and education to get every employee aware of the power of word of mouth and have them look for opportunities to plant the seeds to great visibility.

Buzz Marketing Regulatory Disclosure

Marketing Vox has an article today called Marketers May Face 'Buzz Disclosure' Oxymoron that is about possible regulatory disclosure of participating in Buzz Marketing. I comment on this, because Buzzoodle uses employees to start the buzz. Buzzoodle also helps identifying advocates that already know and like the product, and turn up the volume on the Buzz and word of mouth. So with our technique, we are already in compliance. Booya!

Local Search Engine Marketing Buzz

I read an interesting post from Duct Tape Marketing about local search engine directories.

Register your web site and business listing with each of these local versions of search engines. Google Local Yahoo Local Super Pages (provides listings for many search engines and part of Verizon) City Search (said to feed AOL) MSN Local

If you see yesterday's post, we favor the steady building of Buzz. [With an occasional explosion of attention] This includes any opportunity to create visibility for your company. You may not sell locally, but you still want to post to a local directory. Consider that each of these search engines will link to you in a new way, and it can have a positive influence on your search engine ranking and visibility.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Buzz Marketing

WOMMA defines Buzz Marketing as: Buzz Marketing: Using high-profile entertainment or news to get people to talk about your brand. Word of Mouth Marketing is more of a grass roots effort that spreads from person to person. I probably inaccurately define what Buzzoodle does as Buzz Marketing. Here is why. Buzzoodle creates sustained buzz and visibility about a product or service through a variety of channels from a variety of different sources, including non-marketing people. Certainly word of mouth marketing and viral marketing play a role, but Buzz Marketing seems to be the best way to describe this unique approach to creating more visibility. There is a lot of debate on what these different things mean and about misuse. We refer to our approach as Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing. Buzzoodle comes from "Oodles of Buzz" and that captures the essence of what we are trying to do. Create oodles of buzz by expanding your passionate advocacy base and getting people talking. If nothing else, this post give you some history on the name and what makes us different.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Buzz and Blog Comments

Shy? Bloggers tend to like comments on their blog as long as they are not obviously spam. Yet, most bloggers get 100's of visits and few posts. [Except for those highly controversial ones] If you want to create some buzz, [this might be more of a low key hum] leave posts every time you visit a blog. If you take the time to read a post, leave a comment that is meaningful or at least a "Right on" sort of thing. Also visit a variety of blogs. If nothing else, the blog owner will visit your site if you comment. If you have read this far, I want you to post a comment on this post. Even if it is just introducing yourself. It only takes a minute and if you are here because you are interested in buzz, but you cannot step up to a simple buzz challenge like this, we have a problem. Let me let you in on a secret: Most bloggers are human. Some may be CEO's, professors or McDonald's cashiers, but in most cases they have 10 fingers and 10 toes, just like you most likely do. Don't think that your comment is not worthy of the blog. Blog Comment Etiquette Proper etiquette for blog posts should take into account the simple fact that both parties should benefit. A) The Blogger benefits because any conversation on the blog gives it more validity and builds better relationships with readers. It also tells a blogger a little more about the type of people that are visiting and reading. B) The Commenteer gets to express their view on a subject, gets a link back to their website or blog, and piggybacks on the popularity of the blog they are reading for a little buzz. When leaving a comment,
  1. Say something relevant to the post.
  2. Do not blatantly promote yourself. Interesting comment will make people investigate you, and that is better than any commercial you could write.
  3. Only put links in the comment if they are highly relevant. Bloggers do not like visitors to see too many exit signs.
  4. Try to write in a voice and manner that matches the blog. If it is a political blog bashing someone, it is fine to leave similar comments if that is what you want to say. In this blog I would be a bit puzzled if you said "Buzz Sucks!"

There are more things I could say on this topic, but there are exceptions to rules based on the blog. Keep in mind that when you are posting on a blog you are a guest in the blogger's house, but the blogger probably likes a lively debate.