Book Review: Buzzoodle Buzz MarketingJanuary 3, 2007
We can’t all be YouTube, rocketing from a garage startup to a billion-dollar buyout in less than two years on an unceasing wave of viral buzz. But, if your business is doing good things, it can probably generate a lot more buzz than it’s getting now. You might think that word of mouth buzz occurs only as a natural reaction to a “wow” product or service—you either have it or you don’t, it’s out of your control.
Ron McDaniel thinks otherwise, and his new book Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing shows you how a deliberate buzz strategy can lift your business, especially if your competitors aren’t employing one of their own.
The first thing McDaniel makes clear is that word of mouth can be generated by everyone in a company–in fact, it’s probably more meaningful when it comes from employees who aren’t executives or part of the sales staff. Hearing the buzz from the Queen Bee (or King Bee) is great, but it’s when the whole hive is buzzing that your customers and your industry really take notice. (McDaniel says his obsession with buzz really took hold when an employee told him that word of mouth is “not my job.”)
But what can an employee with other job responsibilities do to support a word of mouth effort? Especially if that employee does not have a marketing bone in his/her body?
The subtitle to Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing is “57 Word of Mouth Challenges For The Entire Workforce”. Don’t let the word “challenges” throw you, though. McDaniel offers 57 action steps to create buzz, and thankfully most are simple enough for anyone in a company to do in just a few minutes a day. (I think they’re called “challenges” in that you’re almost “challenging” people to follow through with them.) E-mail an old friend or business acquaintance and tell him or her in your own words about the good things your company is doing? That’s not hard. Send a congratulatory note to someone who’s had a noteworthy success? Sounds like a win-win. Forward a news clipping that a business contact might be interested in? That’s natural enough.
In fact, many of the word of mouth actions McDaniel describes are things you probably already do, but the idea is to do so more deliberately, with more of a conscious effort to be consistent about it. (I should note that some of the 57 ideas are a bit more ambitious, so those who want to take on bigger challenges can find plenty of ideas as well.)
An obvious question is how to motivate those whose interest in the company’s success is only as strong as their desire to get a regular paycheck. McDaniel suggests that the benefits to them in actively buzzing may need to be spelled out: the potential for greater rewards within the company, the potential to become an expert in a field, and of course the known benefits that come from active networking. In other words, talking up the company is in their interests just as much as it’s in the interests of the company.
By leaving plenty of space for you to document your attempts with each of the 57 action items, Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing is a workbook meant to be used on an ongoing basis instead of simply a book to be read once and put on the shelf. I plan to keep my copy within easy reach, picking it up at least once a day to be sure I’m consistently driving my business forward.
(P.S. If it hadn’t occurred to you, this review is one of the ways I’m creating buzz for me and my company.)
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