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Buzzmarketing: Get People to Talk About Your Stuff Hardcover – July 7, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover; 1 edition (July 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591840929
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591840923
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #412,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Remember Half.com? Back in the days of the dotcom boom, the discount retail Web site drew headlines when it persuaded the town of Halfway, Ore., to change its name to Half.com for a year. The stunt helped the company gain millions of customers and position itself to be bought out by eBay for a handsome premium. Hughes, the brain behind Half.com's marketing ploy, extols the virtues of "buzz marketing," his name for the idea that companies can dramatically boost sales by attracting publicity and fueling widespread word-of-mouth. In this book, Hughes lays out the "principles" of buzz marketing, offering a list of dos and don'ts, plus numerous examples of businesses that outshined competitors by creating buzz. Anyone familiar with Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point will grasp the logic underlying some of Hughes's ideas. He advocates getting the attention of people who can spread the gospel about your product. This approach, he says, is not only more effective than traditional advertising, but far cheaper. Hughes's tales of companies that successfully harnessed buzz are the strongest part of the book, covering businesses as diverse as Pepsi, Ben and Jerry's and Rit Dye, which revived itself by sparking the tie-dye craze in the 1960s. How valuable readers find some of his other case studies will depend on whether they agree that Britney Spears and American Idol represent "great products" marketed shrewdly. Hughes, who worked for PepsiCo and Pep Boys before joining Half.com, now runs a consulting firm that teaches companies about buzz marketing, which no doubt explains why his writing sometimes seems as subtle as a PowerPoint presentation and as gung-ho as an infomercial. Still, Hughes's ideas are provocative and should interest business professionals frustrated with same-again advertising campaigns.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

A business book that’s entertaining and useful for big brands and start- ups alike. -- Steve Forbes, Editor in Chief, Forbes

There’s fake corporate marketing and then there’s real marketing. This is the real stuff for real people. -- Ben Cohen, cofounder, Ben and Jerry’s

More About the Author

Hughes is the marketing guru capturing the $300 million attention of eBay by literally putting Half.com on the map...convincing Halfway, Oregon (pop. 350)to rename itself to Half.com, Oregon.

eBay bought Half.com six months later for $300 million.

Time magazine called it "one of the greatest publicity coups" in history.

Hughes' marketing career spans PepsiCo's Pizza Hut, Pep Boys, AMSC (later XM Satellite Radio), and eBay.

He is the son of a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 49 customer reviews
Reading this book is not a chore: reading this book is an experience that entertains while it informs.
Grady Harp
When it comes to making a major win-win impact with your product or service, NOTHING can do for you what creating major BUZZ can!
Jason Oman
The author does a wonderful job explaining how buzzmarketing works and provides real-world examples of how it has worked.
Jeff Lippincott

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Craig L. Howe on July 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book offers a practical guide to the art of creating buzz.

The author, Mark Hughes, was a vice president of marketing at online retailer Half.com. Using a small advertising budget he drove his company's number of users from zero to 8 million in three years. His secret: he transformed the company into a magnet to media attention. He accomplished this coup by persuading the town of Halfway, Ore. to rename itself [...]

According to the author there are six buttons to creating great word-of-mouth campaigns:

1. The taboo - sex, lies, and bathroom humor.
2. The unusual.
3. The outrageous.
4. The hilarious
5. The remarkable.
6. The secret - both the revealed and unrevealed.

Understanding that, the author says, there are six steps to creating a campaign:

1. Push the right button.
2. Capture the media.
3. Advertise for attention.
4. Climb the mountain.
5. Discover creativity.
6. Police your product.

If your company has millions of dollars to spend on advertising, this book will be of little use. However, if money is tight and everything to lose, time spent studying this well-written book could place you and your product in the forefront of your target buyer's mind.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Edelman TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
What Mark Hughes calls "Buzz Marketing"- getting people to talk about your product- has been with us since people slipped the Town Crier a few extra quid to mention their nostrums in his mightly rounds. Call it flacking, press agentry or what have you, it's the art of getting people to do your advertising for you by creating a story that keeps your product in the public eye.

What Hughes has done in "Buzzmarketing" is to collect a number of stories about how various marketers, including himelf, have used ways other than direct advertising to get people talking about their products. It's not a manual of how to create a buzz, but rather just a selection of interesting stories about how other did it. Creative types will no doubt find inspiration here, but those looking for a how-to guide will be disappointed. An interesting read for anyone curious about marketing.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Once in a while up pops a quick fix book that is sane, smartly written, witty, entertaining and ultimately useful. Mark Hughes has produced just that book in his terrific little book BUZZMARKETING : Get People to Talk About Your Stuff. How he came up with this idea, implemented it, and is impacting business from little Mom and Pop stores to major corporations is the gist of the book.

First, it seems too obvious to follow Mark's concept. All of us know that we are far more apt to listen to the enthusiastic excitement about a product form a friend, a watercooler discussion, or over hearing a conversation in places such as an elevator, bus stop, or those wide awake moments in obligatory meetings. The media blitz numbs our brains UNLESS there is something catchy, memorable, and quotable that sticks to our brains like magnets. These are the buzzwords Mark addresses - and does very much more.

In 'six secrets' of creating the magical buzzwords are given early on in this book and the six buttons of buzz to start a conversation are 1) the taboo (sex, lies, bathroom humor), 2) the unusual, 3) the outrageous, 4) the hilarious, 5) the remarkable, and 6) secrets (both kept and revealed). We are shown that pushing any one of these buzz buttons will immediately start a conversation that will ultimately get people to repeat it...and the cycle begins.

Building on this momentum the book offers the 'secrets' of making buzzwords, slogans, seducing the media, and using the loaded information to market a product.
Read more ›
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Randy Given on July 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book. If you want your marketing to truly grow, check it out. No matter what size your business is or how varied your market.

As the author points out in the introduction, the goal is to out-think instead of out-spend. Unfortunately, that has become just another buzzword for most companies. Kinda like "world class" has become -- nearly meaningless. Not so with this book. It really has some thought provoking approaches.

Many of us know little facts that the book points out, like the fact that word of mouth is ten time more effective than TV or print advertising. I don't want to give too much away (read the book!), but it is not buzzmarketing if people don't want to talk about it.

There were so many points that I agreed with the author. I kept nodding my head and wishing other marketers would have a clue. Like the author says "most people simply don't pay attention to advertising". How true.

I rarely mark in my books, at least since college, but this one got many notations in the side columns. One of the little secrets (well, it seems to be a secret) is that companies that treat their employees well often get much better buzzmarketing from their employees and their products sell better.

The book is easy to read and presents new information effortlessly. It passed a couple of my quick tests. One is whether I could finish it in a cross-country flight (yes). Another is whether I would WANT to finish it (yes). Another is whether I would recommend it to my friends (yes).

Even if you are not marketing your own wares or those of your company, this book will help you appreciate what really gets things going ... buzzmarketing.
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