Buzz Marketing – the why and the how

Star wars, Game of Thrones, Old Spice, what do they all have in common? Apart from making advertisements and trailers that fans would remember forever, all of them had come up with amazing buzz marketing campaigns. From orchestrating a symphony to stationing a giant dragon skull on the Jurassic coast, they did everything to get the buzz going.  

People share stories everyday but not all of them are talked about by many. Marketing is trying to sell a story and good ones sell fast.

Seth Godin, author of Unleashing the IdeaVirus, defines viral marketing like this:

“Viral marketing is a compounding function. A marketer does something and then a consumer tells five or ten people. Then then they tell five or ten people. And it repeats. And grows and grows. Like a virus spreading through a population. The marketer doesn’t have to actually do anything else. (They can help by making it easier for the word to spread, but in the classic examples, the marketer is out of the loop).

Buzz marketing is a type of viral marketing that targets at increasing the brand awareness of a product or service or campaign by extensively talking about it or spreading the information through friends and family of customers or through wide discussions through forums and social media.

Old spice – a great buzz marketing campaign

Everyone laughs at the mention of the Old spice man – The man your man could smell like. The brand came up with a hilarious series of around 185 videos in just 2 days which became an overnight success. After the release of videos, Wieden + Kennedy, the famous advertising agency launched the old spice man response campaign where the guy himself personally responded to fan comments and requests in the same quirky manner as that of the commercial.  This generated a lot of word of mouth buzz. The campaign earned over 65 million views, making it one of the most sensational digital campaigns of all times. The key to their success was humor combined with customer engagement at a personalized level.


Buzz marketing is not just for the Old Spice man or the Kardashians and Kutchers of the world. You can do it too by following these simple steps


  1. Start with a great product or valuable resource

The most important step towards creating a buzz is to take effort in creating great products, resources and campaigns. Many people think that a product will sell itself just by dumping money into marketing and PR activities but as David Ogilvy said: “Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster” Make a product that is worth selling and everything else will fall in place. The Lean Startup Methodology <<link-> suggests that we ask ourselves” should this product be built?” instead of “can this product be built?” That’s something to think about!

Before you begin to build your product it is good to have an understanding about the business space, technology required, competition and the opinion of the early adopters and influencers. As soon as you get a comprehensive view, you can couple it with the unique vision you have for your product to come up with something that would wow the customers.

  1. Find your passionate early adopters

Early adopters are your prime customers, in fact they are the crème of the crop, because they influence others to buy your product. They will be the first to try out your product and will grow and evolve with it. They are also the ones who will be eager to share the knowledge with their family and friends. Getting busy on social media is the best way to find out who they are. Online forums, road shows, friendly meet ups are some of the ways to interact with the target market. You can get valuable feedback on your product as well as inputs on the problems they face. Giving away a free trial, offering advice and solutions as a thought leader are some of the ways to get them interested in you as well as your product.

  1. Get the influencers on-board

Influencers are experts or celebrities who have the power to impact the customers’ purchasing decisions. Their opinions are valued and followed by many. Get your influencers on board and give them exclusive information to share with their audience, It makes them feel like a cut above the rest. When you provide privileged information to the influencers it makes them feel like an insider and they will be excited to share it with others. Once your product is released, your influential customers become the brand ambassadors.

  1. Make it easy to try, share and promote

More shares equals increased brand communication. You may start by creating a share option for whatever content you want to be shared. To increase the number of shares, you can give freebies to early adopters and influencers for promoting your brand information. For example, you can provide trial versions or free samples for your product. If it is a service, you can give away voucher codes or include them in your exclusive circle list. Motivating influencers to share content is always rewarding because people believe in consumer notions over advertisements.

  1. Customer engagement is gold

There can be no better day than today to engage your customers. With the surge in social and mobile technologies, people are online chatting, sharing, tweeting something or the other. They are always on the lookout for real time experiences which are customized to their lifestyle, this gives businesses a great platform to actively engage their customers. Some of the key things to include while engaging customers is to keep it simple, make it more fun, personalize it and be forward thinking. One of the best examples of innovative customer engagement that has taken the world by storm is the Pokémon GO app. In just over 7 days, the app has seen an astounding 75 million downloads only in the U.S. The app allows smartphone users to walk around neighborhoods hunting down virtual Pokémon monsters. The game’s popularity is driven by warm nostalgia and a desire to catch them all. Nothing works better than kudos to keep your customers engaged.  The exciting part of the Pokémon app is how marketers have leveraged it to increase sales. Stores and restaurants are displaying themselves as “Poke stops” to lure players in the vicinity to collect more Pokémon balls and increase their power. Latest reports say that the game users are highly engaged and are spending more time on it than Facebook or Twitter.

  1. Keep it buzzing

Marketers who focus on creativity and buzz are the ones who keep their customers engaged. Giving people something to talk about is the basic mantra to generate buzz. By following the basic steps outlined in this article you can create your own successful buzz marketing campaign. So go ahead and keep it buzzing!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *