The Power of BuzzBy: Susan Friedmann
How did Hotmail gain over 12 million subscribers in 18 months? How did the very low budget movie “The Blair Witch Project” become such an incredibly successful phenomenon? The answer lies in the power of “buzz.”
Buzz or word-of-mouth marketing influences more people to buy, or not to buy products and services, than most other forms of marketing. Why is it so powerful? Basically, we have a need to share information as a means of communication and also as a way of understanding the world around us. Often, we base many of our purchasing decisions on information gleaned from friends and well-respected associates. We tend to listen to them more readily then most mass-media messages.
As exhibitors you need go no further than the tradeshow floor to find a network that creates a real buzz. It starts prior to the show, gathers momentum at the show, and then slowly dissipates after the show ends. Every exhibitor has the power to influence the buzz. It all depends on product/service quality, marketing savvy and the decisions made.
I recall visiting a telecommunications show a couple of years ago when the buzz on the show floor concerned a Fortune 100 company and major player in the industry, (who shall remain nameless). The talk centered around the image of their booth which wasn’t quite up to expectations. The buzz went like this: “The ABC Company has gone cheap. They must be having financial problems.” It’s gossip like this that starts the wheels of the “rumor mill” turning and can even create havoc on the Stock Market. Remarks like this often have very little bearing on reality, but people make assumptions and decisions based on what they see and hear. Obviously, the originating source of the buzz plays a key role in its basis for truth.
I’m sure that you would much prefer any tradeshow buzz to be positive. Since talking about products/services makes economic sense, how can you use the buzz to add to your existing marketing efforts? I’ve put together ten guidelines for you to consider:
© copyright 2004, Susan A. Friedmann
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