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What exactly is Buzz Marketing? How is it related to Social Networking websites?

Marketing buzz or simply buzz is a term used in “word-of-mouth” marketing. It implies the interaction between potential consumers and current users of a product or a service which serves to amplify the original marketing message.Buzz marketing is a viral marketing technique that attempts to make each interaction with a consumer, appear to be a unique, spontaneous personal exchange of information instead of a pre-designed marketing pitch. In the previous decades, buzz marketing campaigns have been designed to be very calculated in nature. The advertiser reveals information about the product or service to only a few “knowing” people in the target audience. Through planned, face-to-face conversations with those who heavily influence their peers, buzz marketers create a sophisticated word-of-mouth campaign where consumers are flattered to be included in the elite group of those “in the know” and willingly spread the word to their friends and colleagues. (Website, SearchCRM.techtarget.com)

Despite the fact that word of mouth (WOM) is a time tested phenomenon, buzz marketing is the new Buzz word in marketing. Universities, schools, play schools have, since decades ago, have maintained their reputation, and continue to do so through WOM publicity. Today, even play schools thrive on the image built through mouth publicity. Whether it is a new restaurant in town, a Thai spa, a boutique, or a new movie, nothing is left untouched by a good or a bad word of mouth. In spite of extensive promotional programs, every new release of a Bollywood film is preceded by a considerable amount of gossip in the tabloids to ensure a good opening even for an average film. The more people talk about it, the more chances are that they will go and watch it.

Facebook and Twitter, two of the most famous networking sites in the world, also have some advantages for businesses. Since they are a giant network of people, companies can advertise their business to specific groups that would most likely be interested. Those people, if they liked the product, would in turn tell their friends about the company. Facebook, because of its design, speeds up this “word-of-mouth” process. Businesses that use Facebook would be able to reach a wider audience of people then they would otherwise. Another advantage is that the cost of this advertising is very low. Businesses can save a good amount of advertising budget by using Facebook. Facebook also helps business to develop relationships with their customers and raise the visibility of their company. Several companies like MTV have sought out the option to run official communities on Orkut in the form of ‘MTV India community’. Google is introducing ‘Orkut Promote’.

Taking into consideration the brands like Facebook, Twitter, eBay etc which are a success without any traditional advertising in print and on TV, one can know that immense success can be gained by influencing only selective audiences. These brands are recruiting users as brand evangelists, by growing organically through the “six degrees of separation” chain. Buzz marketing is not a new concept but today it is becoming a very important tool in marketing as a result of the diverse target audience. Therefore it is time marketing planners gave media planning and traditional marketing a rest and become ready to ride the new wave of target marketing.

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