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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Learn how to talk with customers instead of at them.
Conversational marketing is really a simple concept and one that's been around since people started conversing. However, marketing, PR and advertising departments, especially in larger businesses, don't think conversationally. That's a problem, because customers want conversation, not the "party line." Lois Kelly offers a spot on solution--

"Marketing has...
Published on August 4, 2007 by Brad Shorr

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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a flawed treatment of an important topic
Lois Kelly has written a book about a compelling and exciting subject, namely using conversations as a method of mass marketing. Unfortunately, "Beyond Buzz" fails to explain how to implement this revolutionary idea.

The book attempts to explains how and why humans engage in conversations. I found these explanations confusing, poorly organized, and often...
Published on December 1, 2007 by Daniel Ginensky


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Learn how to talk with customers instead of at them., August 4, 2007
Conversational marketing is really a simple concept and one that's been around since people started conversing. However, marketing, PR and advertising departments, especially in larger businesses, don't think conversationally. That's a problem, because customers want conversation, not the "party line." Lois Kelly offers a spot on solution--

"Marketing has traditionally been more like a manufacturing operation, producing advertisements, Web sites, brochures, campaigns, and press releases. Reframed as a service, however, marketing gains even more value through the processes of listening advising, explaining, and teaching." (p. 155)

Companies need to reshape their entire approach to communication to have any hope of influencing today's customers. That entails changing mindsets, job responsibilities, interdepartmental relationships and customer interaction--tough stuff.

The great value of "Beyond Buzz" is that it explains how large organizations can reorganize and reorient themselves to be conversational. Kelly has a lot of first-hand experience working with firms that successfully made the change, and with some that didn't. Her ideas and transformative techniques are not merely theories, they are tried and true. Worthwhile reading for business owners, leaders, and top level marketing, PR, advertising and sales execs.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a flawed treatment of an important topic, December 1, 2007
By 
Daniel Ginensky (Bet Shemesh Israel) - See all my reviews
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Lois Kelly has written a book about a compelling and exciting subject, namely using conversations as a method of mass marketing. Unfortunately, "Beyond Buzz" fails to explain how to implement this revolutionary idea.

The book attempts to explains how and why humans engage in conversations. I found these explanations confusing, poorly organized, and often repetative. There were precious few case studies of actual use of conversation in marketing. Most of the examples offered were taken from the world of politicians.

Missing was any usable program on how to implement conversation in a marketing plan. There was also no analysis comparing the costs and expected benefits of conversation vs. more conventional marketing techneques.

There was advice on introducing "conversation culture" into an existing marketing organization. Good luck on that.

The author deserves credit for attempting to construct a conceptual framework for a revolutionary marketing technique. However, I would recommend looking elsewhere for a usable program.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Connecting Technology Was Only the First Step in the Internet Revolution, April 25, 2007
By 
J. Andrus (Bow, New Hampshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In 1998, during the emerging years of the Internet, Kevin Kelly wrote that "The only factor becoming scarce in a world of abundance is human attention" as part of his seminal work New Rules for the New Economy. His predictions then regarded the ways that connected communications like the Internet would change our lives. Looking back on his predictions, not only was Kevin Kelly correct about the role of technology in changing our society, he also accurately predicted the importance of human interaction and attention in our new networks.

Now in 2007, Lois Kelly (presumably no relation to Kevin) extends the ideas of Kevin Kelly to the actual practices of any person responsible for communicating with a public audience. Her primary contention is that communicators must be worthy of and skilled in engaging a public into a conversation. Executives and communication personnel who work in public relations, marketing, sales or politics must acknowledge that their audience is not a waiting receiver of prepackaged messages that are broadcasted in any number of available channels. Kelly writes that communicators must transcend the technology itself to make conversations relevant between senders and receivers. And in any real conversation, there is human attention.

Beyond Buzz is a great handbook that outlines the many methods of creating and maintaining useful conversations, including the effects of our Internet technologies. I would recommend this book for any PR, sales, advertising or marketing person who wishes to take the next step beyond the marketing fundamentals of price, product, positioning, etc. Or, to combine the ideas of both Kellys, to engage scarce human attention in today's hyper-connected network world, one must create an interesting conversation as part of a human relationship. I am sure that when we look back on 2007, we will see that Lois was just as prescient as Kevin was in 1998.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conversations Control Business, April 17, 2007
Beyond Buzz is a a conversational book--about how to achieve influence and business through conversations. Author Lois Kelly seems to be sitting down next to us with a cool drink explaining how the trivialized "word-of-mouth" marketing can be used for powerful and persuasive ends. Most impressively, she talks about true meaning, and passion, and accuracy. This isn't a book about "spin" but one that may cause your head to spin as you consider the vast potential you're probably missing in guiding your customers', clients', and colleagues' discussions and conversations.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marketing 2.0, April 8, 2007
By 
Luis (WESTMINSTER, CO, United States) - See all my reviews
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So many "business" books are fun to read, illuminating, and tell marvelous stories, but sometimes I wonder what it really means to me, and how I can apply concepts and ideas to my job.

Lois manages to do both -- she skillfully uses stories, metaphors, and practical advice to get you thinking about how to stop talking "at" customers, and start meaningful, productive conversations with them instead.

She writes about the many-to-many "talk" culture that marketers and leaders need to adopt to attract and keep customers. What better way to stay interested and engaged than through a conversation? This is a big shift for people use to building massive, one-way Web channels, and it's probably terrifying for some.

Lois gives examples of how companies and people are adapting, and she can help you make this change too. Start with developing a point-of-view that "sets you apart, speeds understanding, and provokes converstation." She follows this up with introspection -- tapping into core values and beliefs of the company (the CEO can help here), really listening to your customers, uncovering talk-worthy ideas, and much more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She Gets It!!!, April 28, 2007
This book is really a great overview with specific tools on implementing conversational marketing.

This is not a rehash! I have read Andy's book on Word-of-Mouth marketing which is also a great book. Both, do a wonderful job giving companies and individual structure and implementation tactic, to harness word of mouth and client to client marketing.

I am so glad to see someone go past the canned "30 second commercials" or the structure, rule and be ruled type of networking, and it is refreshing to see someone acknowledge that they way we sell, connect and compete for our customers has changed. No longer does the old sales techniques of the "Ben Franklin close" or "Oh, by the way" work! People are more savvy and they can purchase globally via the internet now. No longer are we restricted to doing business only with those in "arms length".

Too often people think MARKETING and ADVERTISING are one in the same. This is so not true! Often I see people using the sales techniques from "back in the day" to sell today's consumer. Bad choice! Amongst generations we see a huge difference in the way they think, what they value, they way they communicate and they way they receive information. Now, throw culture into that mix as well and you can see that what worked back then is not working now.

Kudos to Lois Kelly for writing a book that really takes us Beyond Buzz. It's what your customers, clients, colleagues and contacts say about you that is reality. Like it or not!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "How To" book for conversational marketing, April 22, 2007
This book is an absolute MUST for any marketer who wants their sales reps to make more calls by give them something interesting to talk about! Lois gives you plenty of ideas and questions to ask in the process of turning your organization into a 21st Century marketing machine. A brand is what your customers think it is, not what the company says it is, so marketing's purpose is to help people understand your organization and products in ways that are meaningful to them. And conversational marketing is the way to make that happen!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read., August 1, 2009
By 
Lois Lain (San Francisco Bay Area, CA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I used to review business and marketing books for a national magazine, so I know when an author is bringing something fresh to the table, and when she's reheating yesterday's leftovers and trying to pass them off as something new. Lois Kelly's book is definitely something fresh!

From beginning to end, this book is packed with practical advice on how to turn traditional marketing on its head. Beyond Buzz picks up where many of Seth Godin's books leave off -- he sets the scene with the "why," and she fills in the details with the "how."

Kelly tells you how to create stories people will listen to, she lists the ways to get and keep people talking, and she explains exactly what you need to do to take your marketing "beyond buzz."

A must-read for any present-day marketer or entrepreneur.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for non-profit managers, April 23, 2007
By 
Richard Jaffe (Little Compton, Rhode Island) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Beyond Buzz provides a clear solution to a major communications challenge for our organization. As a non-profit, we depend on our board to help spread our mission and raise money for the organization. It is crucial for board members to be able to communicate this through engaging conversations with donors and other influencers. Not only has Lois Kelly helped me think about communications in a new way, but the book also provides easy to follow steps to implement this new strategy. Beyond Buzz has provided the basis for our new approach to communications. Thank you!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it - great ideas you can use right away, April 2, 2007
Finally, a roadmap for firing up conversations. In the consulting business, it's really the only way to sell these days. We've been looking for ideas to cut through the hype and jardon and this book has set the firm on the right path, right away. Beyond Buzz nailed one of the biggest issues we face - connecting with our prospects and customers in ways other firms can't. The chapters on finding and building a strong Point of View were fantastic.
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Beyond Buzz: The Next Generation of Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Beyond Buzz: The Next Generation of Word-of-Mouth Marketing by Lois Kelly (Hardcover - March 26, 2007)
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