The book spans the entire spectrum of buzz, viral and word of mouth campaigns. Basically divided under categories like Seeding Trials, Live Buzz Marketing, PR and Viral Marketing. Particularly interesting is the analysis of successful campaigns that have implemented viral marketing with great success.
Hotmail, for instance, used the P.S: “Get your free email at Hotmail” message quite successfully to turn its users into a promotional sales force. the campaign managed to recruit 12 million subscribers in 18 months.
The other interesting examples are those of Unilever’s “Dove: Share a Secret” campaign, which implemented a viral sampling initiative by inviting Dove users to mail in the names and addresses of their friends with whom they would like to share the Dove secret. The friend then received the Dove Gift Certificate in the post entitling them to a free Dove pack of soap and discount vouchers. Participants also received a Dove certificate themselves!
The essay on “Seed to Spread” by Paul Marsden, Associate Director, LSE sheds light on the use of seeding trials for highly effective and low cost marketing. He contextualises the efficacy of these marketing models in the framework of the “Hawthorne Effect”. The psychology of the HE is based on research which shows that when people are asked to participate in any research process, they sub conscioulsy become brand advocates for the produt and develop a sense of ownership for the product/service in whose research/feedback they are involved. The article then goes on to talk about the necessity of finding the right opinion leaders for one’s product/service and quotes Gmail as a successful example because by involving users in the Beta testing of the service, the campaign established a connect so much so that Gmail invites reached the stage of black marketing.
the other interesting essay is on “Live Buzz Marketing” by Justin Foxton, CEO, CommentUK. He observes that Live P2P Buzz Marketing can be Secret; Disclosed; Overt. All these forms come with their relative advantages and disadvantages. Like n other essays, there are interesting case studies but what was equally interesting was the history of the genesis of Live Marketing. Foxton says: ” South Africa under Apartheid rule denied many millions of people access to formal education. this meant that the vast majority could neither read nor write. …..Low literacy levels combined with high levels of poverty, meant that the communication mechanisms that some people take for granted were not an effective viable means by which to reach vast majority of the population….As a direct result of this problem, industrial theatre was born. As its name suggests, the medium was responsible for creating live buzz marketing campaigns which toured industrial areas, mines, businesses and factories, delivering government, product or industrial messages to the workforce…….since the demise of Apartheid, companies have continued to use industrial theatre……”
Will get back with more as I read…….