Rosen, Emanuel. The Anatomy of Buzz, Creating Word-of-Mouth Marketing. London: HarperCollinsPublishers, 2000. Print.
1. "[Buzz is an] aggregate of all person-to-person communication about a particular product, service, or company at any point in time." (p. 7)
2. "... three reasons for increased importance of buzz: noise, skepticism, and connectivity.
1. Customers can hardly hear you. There's too much noise...
2. Customers are skeptical...
3. Customers are connected... customers have found new tools to share information [between each other]." (pp. 14-15)
3. "Products that somehow create high involvement among customers:
- Exciting products...
- Innovative products...
- Personal experience products... Hotels, airlines, cars, books...
- Complex products like software or medical devices...
- Expensive products
- Observable products, such as clothes, cars, and cellular phones. People tend to talk about what they see..." (pp. 25-26)
4. The importance of buzz to a business depends on the nature of your product, people you're trying to reach, the tightness of the network of your customers, and on the marketing strategy chosen by the company. The less formal the approach to a marketing strategy, the more important the buzz.
5. Types of Network Hubs:
"Regular Hubs: These are regular folks who serve as sources of information and influence in a certain product category...
Mega-Hubs: ... These individuals have many two-way links like regular hubs, but in addition the have thousands of one-way links with people who listen to their message via mass media.
Expert Hubs: Some people are listened to because they have demonstrated significant knowledge of a certain area...
Social Hubs: In every group there are those who are more central because they are charismatic, are trusted by their peers, or are simply more socially active..." (pp. 45-47)
6. Ten principles of social networks that affect buzz:
- The Networks are invisible. "The implications of this principle to the customers is that customer privacy is protected because our social ties are not easily visible to the world... [T]he marketing activities in the networks can be invisible as well, a fact that can help companies gain market share under the radar screen of competitors." (p. 60)
- People link with others who are similar to them. "... [P]eople who are similar to each other tend to form clusters... The second implication is that the more similar your employees are to your customers, the easier the communication between them will be." (p. 62)
- People who are similar to each other form clusters. "... [I]f your product becomes the standard within a cluster, it makes it very difficult for competitors to uproot you from this position... [S]ometimes a product becomes so closely associated with a certain cluster that people in other clusters hesitate to adopt it." (p. 64)
- Buzz spreads through common nodes. "While it is true that buzz spreads through mutual acquaintances, the degree of control that marketers have on this process is very limited... 'When we speak of five intermediaries, we are talking about an enormous psychological distance between the starting target points,'... 'We should think of the five points as being not five persons apart, but 'five circles of acquaintances' apart - five 'structures' apart.'" (pp. 66-67)
- Information gets trapped in clusters. "It is important to identify the gaps between different clusters and to find ways to spread the word about a product to people on both sides of any structural holes." (p. 68)
- Network Hubs and "Connectors" create "Shortcuts." "... [C]ompanies can deliberately create shortcuts by using people within the company to link with individuals in remote networks... [C]ompanies can identify people who have the most potential to create shortcuts... These people, because of the nature of their daily work, often serve as a bridge between cliques and clusters in the local community." (p. 70)
- We talk to those around us. "Since people talk to those around them, in marketing a product or service it is important to create a persence in every geographical location... The networks are still... pulled by the social gravity around us." (p. 72)
- Weak ties are surprisingly strong. "Don't listen only to your close network - it is likely to rehash what you already know. Diversify your connections." (p. 74)
- The net nurtures weak ties. "The increase in weak ties on the Net can explain why information travels much faster today... Because we can manage just so many links, and because we prefer to form links with those similar to us, we will continue to cluster around people like us." (p. 75)
- Networks go across markets. "You never know how people in one market category are linked to people in other categories. Messages that you try to direct to one group of people can easily find their ways to other people." (pp. 76-77)
7. The "busy network paradox": "The more successful a company is, the more likely it is to be flooded by messages from its existing networks. Its managers, as a result, may fail to notice the nonactive networks." (p. 78)
8. "To learn how to help create buzz, you should be able to answer questions like these:
- From whom do your clients or customers typically learn about your product?
- What do people say when they recommend your product?
- How fast does information about your product spread compared with other products?
- Who are the network hubs?
- Where does the information hit a roadblock?
- How many sources of information does a customer rely on? Which ones are more important?
- What other kinds of information spread through the same networks?" (pp. 96-97)
9. Leapfrogging - creating buzz in several customer cluster simultaneously.
10. Ways to accelerate buzz:
- to create conditions for shortcuts to happen by organizing events and inviting people, who are not immediately related to the network of current or potential customers.
- to locate oneself on the "dense areas" of networks by going to specially organized events like trade shows
- hiring people of similar profile as your customers will increase the chance of linking into the right networks
- active seeding helps to accelerate buzz by placing the products "at strategic points in many different clusters with seed units." (p. 153)
11. Rules of successful seeding campaign:
"- Look beyond the usual suspects... [I]dentify social circles, industry segments, or academic disciplines in which people don't talk about your company, product, or service. Seek them out for seeding.
- Put the product in their hands. Most often the ''seed' has to be the product itself...
- Reduce the price barrier... Make the product free to a seed customer if possible, or at least as low in price as feasible.
- Listen to silence... Successful seeding required paying attention to dead networks and doing further seeding." (p. 166)
12. Six rules about ads and buzz:
- Keep it simple
- Tell us what's new
- Don't make claims you can't support
- Ask your customers to articulate what's special about your product or service
- Start measuring buzz
- Listen to the buzz