55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2005
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.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
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.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
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. Using success stories to support these approaches (companies using popular stars to capitalize on their product, businesses who build on simple quirky phrases to supplant expensive variably successful advertising campaigns) supplies enough evidence to pay close attention to 'buzzmarketing'.
Mark Hughes is not only successful because of his concept's amazing results, he is also a wonderfully fluid and witty writer. Reading this book is not a chore: reading this book is an experience that entertains while it informs. And wild and simple as the concept is, it works! Pleasure yourself and advance your career. Grab the gold ring before this little book is on the Best Seller list - as it is surely headed in that direction! Highly recommended. Grady Harp, July 05
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2005
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.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Everyone knows that good word-of-mouth advertising can make a product, and bad word-of-mouth comments can kill a product. Many books exhort you to create such good "buzz" and give you lots of examples.
Mark Hughes does that same thing, but he backs up his advice with a six-step process broken into detailed subcategories of how to implement that make creating "buzz" as simple to understand as baking a chocolate cake with a packaged mix.
The book is spare. Mr. Hughes doesn't waste a word. The examples are just enough to get the point across . . . and not belabor it.
Get this book now before you competitors do!
I was very impressed to see the many small company examples in here that someone can use to market on a tiny budget. The big company examples are revealing too, even if small companies may not be able to directly emulate them.
If you enjoyed Purple Cow, you will like this book more . . . and find it easier to apply.
I used this book to plan the marketing for my next book . . . and have been very pleased with the results.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2005
I often tell my students that word of mouth advertising is the
best way to go when you want to promote your product or
service . . . but that said, I add that it is easier said than
done; i.e., until BUZZMARKETING by Mark Hughes came along.
This excellent book, subtitled GET PEOPLE TO TALK ABOUT
YOUR STUFF, gives step-by-step instructions on how to
implement a word-of-mouth campaign that works . . . and
Hughes should know, in that he was the guy who persuaded
the town of Halfway, Oregon, to rename itself Half.com--called
"one of the greatest publicity coups in history" by TIME.
What makes BUZZMARKETING both interesting and useful
are the many examples, ranging from Miller Lite during the
"Tastes Great--Less Filling" era to AMERICAN IDOL'S use
of buzz to become a global phenomenon . . . Hughes also
suggests that coming up with the big idea isn't necessarily
easy; in fact, "to get that one gem of an idea," [he's] "had
to create and discard seventy more that never see the light of
day because, quite frankly, the first seventy really suck."
Yet rather than leave you with the feeling that this is
impossible to do, he then gives this an actual technique
that he has employed . . . such as, "When advertising
responsibilities were added on top of my marketing at
Pep Boys, one of the first things I did was bring the agency account
team to Las Vegas . . . to work in the stores. We donned our uniforms,
felt our customer's anxiety, solved our customer's problems, say what
they looked like, heard what they sounded like. We got under hoods,
and inside their heads."
Simple stuff when you think about it, but it works . . . as did
many other tidbits cited in BUZZMARKETING; to name just a few:
* In a very different kind of business, a man named Ian Klein decided
to go into the online dating business five years ago. But when you're
competing against Match.com, things get pretty competitive. His sister
was one of the 64 percent of overweight Americans, and also one of the
eighty million single people in America. In time, he made the connection,
pushed an unusual button, and created a niche site called
OverweightDate.com. Among overweight singles, the whispers started.
At Weight Watchers meetings, at bars, everywhere.
* I decided to see if we could print a message on a urinal screen--the
rubberized screen preventing bubble gum, cigarette butts, and other stuff
from clogging up the pipes. Sure enough, it could be done. But what would
we print? A simple logo seemed very NASCAResque--a mindless logo
slapped on without any vivid connection to our brand or context. Once
again I wanted Burma Shave contextual humor to make people smile.
I also knew we had to push the envelope in order to generate word of mouth.
Ultimately we printed this on the urinal screen: "Don't piss away half your
money, head to Half.com." A bit controversial, yes. And we weren't oblivious
to the potential risk. In fact, we asked both males and females for their
opinion of the copy (not that females would ever see it, but they would
certainly hear about it.) We knew it would eventually get press, so we
wanted to make sure we had the gumption to take the heat and handle
it with a sense of humor. It was a go, and we launched the campaign
in urinals across Manhattan.
* How many people do you know who don't read what is says on the little
paper inside the fortune cookie at a Chinese restaurant? Not many.
Just about everyone reads them--96 percent, according to on study.
So in place of the lucky numbers on the back of the fortune cookie paper,
what if we put an ad for our company? Perhaps the modern day
equivalent to Allan Odell's billboard--the smallest billboard on earth
with undivided mind share.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2005
If you've spent many dollars and way too many years searching for someone to tell you specifically how to successfully promote your business or your latest unique new product, you and I have a great deal in common. What were we thinking?
I'm sure you're familiar with a very old expression that goes something like this, "If you're looking for a helping hand, look first at the end of your own arm." Buzzmarketing is all about encouraging the reader to begin looking right. Right inside ourselves. Maybe success could have been mine sooner if I'd just been looking right... into my own right brain. Oh, come on now. Success can't possibly be that easy. Or, can it?
Buzzmarketing contains a virtual parade of success stories. The kimono is wide open and we are privy to exactly how each astonishingly successful result was achieved. Yet I never got the feeling that Mark was setting himself up as the expert in anything except how to be successful with his own business. Throughout each story, Mark sprinkles encouragement every step of the way by challenging us to put aside fear, become risk takers and believe in ourselves.
Initially, the reader may be slightly frustrated as I was. I wanted the author to tell me 'exactly' what I should do to Wow 'em and achieve soaring results. I wanted to be told all the ways I could apply these strategies and tactics to my own business.
Suddenly I had one of those lightbulb moments. Get real. What could possibly make me think the only way to success was to have someone else draw me a map. Afterall, who knows my own business any better than I do? And, there, I think, is Mark's message to the reader.
Now I know where I'm going to look for my own answers. And I know my search won't include some expert who doesn't have a clue about my business. As for me, after reading Buzzmarketing, I've found my own direction and I'm beginning to look Right!
Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind at all if Mark offered to sit down with me and map out a specific route to soaring Wow 'em results for my business. Are you listening, Mark? However, you should know, I wouldn't blindly follow your map. Afterall, I've read Buzzmarketing and I'm now armed with an idea or two of my own!
Linda J. Welsh, Founder/Owner
WelshSpirit, Gourmet Coffee With Attitude! [...]
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2005
As a heavy business book reader, I find there's an unfortunate sameness to most books. Many fail to balance lessons and steps with inspirational stories. Or, worse, the books are simply not fun to read.
Mark Hugh's BuzzMarketing is a welcome exception. It is a highly-entertaining "quick read," filled with stories that really drive home the author's points.
And, thankfully, the author has points--six specific, actionable steps that you can take to generate buzz. So, at the end of the book, you're not left all dressed up, but with no place to go.
This is a great book. You'll be well rewarded for your investment. Get a copy in preparation for your next cross-country airplane trip, but plan to keep it next to your computer when you get back to the office. Because you'll want to frequently refer to it when you start applying Mark's 6 steps!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Definitely read this book if you are responsible for making rain at your company. Advertising doesn't work like it used to, and it is getting harder and harder to get the word out about your products and/or services. As a result, you should seriously consider looking into what buzzmarketing is all about. And by reading this book you will get a pretty good idea.
What do you get when you mix a marketing professional and a public relations professional who design and deliberate on creating success in their work? Answer: a buzzmarketer.
After reading this book I'm truly a believer in promoting oneself and/or a business using buzzmarketing (a fancy brand of word-of-mouth marketing). The author does a wonderful job explaining how buzzmarketing works and provides real-world examples of how it has worked.
Unfortunately I cannot say I am a fan of buzzmarketing from a consumer's perspective. For some time now I have resented hearing about the likes of Britney Spears, Katie Couric, Linday Lohan, and American Idol in the media, ie "on the news." But those people are getting known and being popular because they employ buzzmarketing tactics. And they're all filthy rich doing it.
Beer commercials are another example of buzzmarketing. According to the author, the 3 basics to buzzmarketing are:
1. Push the 6 buttons of word-of-mouth
2. Get the media involved, and
3. Pay a little for buzz by advertising
And the 6 buttons of word-of-mouth include: taboo, unusual, outrageous, funny, remarkable, and private things. If your press release, ad, or event is racy, funny, remarkable or the like, then people will talk about it. Make sure your story is related to your company or product, and you will have a hit.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2005
Buzzmarketing offers a truly revolutionary way to look at marketing. By chronicling successful marketing ploys and campaigns, author Mark Hughes outlines a strategy that will garner your product publicity at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing strategies. A must read, I recommend this to anyone interested in brand development, advertising, public relations, or marketing. This title is ideal for product managers looking for creative and cost effective means to maximize marketing budgets.