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Like most other marketing books, this intriguing but unconvincing volume dwells on botched ad campaigns, implying that those campaigns would have triumphed if only the advertiser had sought the authors' advice. In this case, all the reviled efforts overlooked "the most powerful marketing force in the world": word-of-mouth. "Everybody talks to everybody else about products every day," writes Balter, founder of three-year-old BzzAgent Inc., which enlists earnest volunteers to spread the gospel about products that the firm is hired to promote. Balter argues that the fact that BzzAgents actually tell people, "I'm a BzzAgent, and I'm pushing this product" aids the credibility of both the products and their advocates, with the result that Bzz campaigns succeed where shill campaigns (which employ paid actors) backfire. That may be true, but this volume doesn't adequately make the case that sincerity and product samples constitute a marketing revolution: the book's slapdash, "admittedly nonscientific" analysis is backed by little more than enthusiasm, quotes from The Tipping Point and three years of BzzAgent anecdotes. Balter's gee-whiz, narcissistic writing voice won't help win converts, either. (Though Butman is a coauthor, Balter narrates the book in the first person.) While it aspires to reorient current thinking on consumerism and social interaction, it's clear that this book's true purpose is to serve as a 210-page BzzAgent ad. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Why is it that normally talented, even cutting--edge innovators feel compelled to exhibit logorrhea when pen is poised over paper? Such is the case with Balter, who, with the aid of writer Butman, crystallizes his practice of word-of-mouth marketing. The concept is unique and differentiated from buzz by its credibility, its emphasis on genuine storytelling, and its theme: "not 100% goodness 100% of the time." There's research (and bottom-line sales results) that proves his points about the benefits of "one big cocktail party." But he spoils the effect by, in Seth Godin-esque fashion, choosing to insert a fictional account of Bardo, the perfect target customer; SparklyPerfect, a new product; and Annie, the designated marketer. First, a straight-out-of-fantasyland narrative goes against the honesty-is-our-policy foundation of word-of-mouth marketing. Second, real-life case histories--as with Apple iPod and its battery and the Coke C2 debacle--drive home the premise far better than any novel; real experiences and real perceptions make the product sing. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I own a small retail business and picked this book up because I thought it might have some marketing ideas that I wasn't already using.
It didn't. Read more
In this book Dave Balter talks primarily about his BzzAgent word-of-mouth agency experiences and details how the agency conducts campaigns for clients. Read morePublished on October 14, 2009 by The Marketing Guy Who Drives Sales -r
An excellent take on word-of-mouth marketing from a leader in the field. Through a step-by-step account of a fictional marketing campaign and real-life anecdotes, Balter conveys... Read morePublished on February 2, 2009 by Lois Lain
It doesn't take very long to see that word-of-mouth is really what drives our purchases. Everything from the employee recommendations on the wiki to amazon's user reviews, from... Read morePublished on January 5, 2009 by sknep
Grapevine is a book peppered with case studies and practical information from start to finish. It is a business book that you want to read cover-to-cover and what I found most... Read morePublished on August 25, 2008 by Starting Out
Grapevine is centered around the idea that people are naturally inclined to talk about products. David Balter stresses importance of word-of-mouth, and even more importantly, the... Read morePublished on January 26, 2007 by Ilya Grigorik
Trying to find a new dentist in town? Need to know a great hole-in-the wall eatery? You're probably banking on someone's recommendation more than anything else. Read morePublished on January 9, 2007 by F. Newton
Dave Balter is a genius. This book captures his passion for an industry that he is seeking to shape and define with integrity. Read morePublished on September 18, 2006 by AZ Book Fan
This book is simply an ego boost for the author. I found absolutely nothing I could use in my own business, but was
vaguely impressed with the writers "word of mouth"... Read more