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Buzzmarketing: Get People to Talk About Your Stuff Paperback – April 29, 2008
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
aA business book thatas both entertaining and useful for big brands and start-ups alike.a
aSteve Forbes, editor in chief, "Forbes"
aBuzzmarketing works. Itas not just a nice-to-have, itas a must-have!a
aBrian Swette, former chief marketing officer, PepsiCo
aIf you want to know why some brands get noticed and others donat, this is the book to buy.a
?A business book that's both entertaining and useful for big brands and start-ups alike.?
?Steve Forbes, editor in chief, "Forbes"
?Buzzmarketing works. It's not just a nice-to-have, it's a must-have!?
?Brian Swette, former chief marketing officer, PepsiCo
?If you want to know why some brands get noticed and others don?t, this is the book to buy.?
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Top Customer Reviews
Now, I'm looking forward to getting some great buzz going for my latest product 'Unlimited Home Business Success' as well!
Thx or your awesome brilliance, Mark! :-)
like it's a commercial for his company.
This is the type of book you'll want to keep on your reference shelf and read over and over again.
I've used his techniques to make my novel a success and get it recently sold to Warner Books.
Author of FOREVER MY LADY on Amazon.com
This book has some good ideas, the most important of which is: do something nobody has ever done before. Author Mark Hughes provides several examples of instances where marketers (mostly himself) have done something so revolutionary that the marketing tactic becomes news. If you need object lessons in lateral thinking in the publicity business, the early chapters of this book are informative. Indeed, the early chapters are almost worth the cover price.
But as the book goes on the advice starts to become silly. In fact, the later chapters offer advice so wobbly they come close to robbing the book of value, because if you follow Hughes' later pointers you'll fall flat.
For instance, he talks glowingly of his marketing effort that put his brand name on urinal mats. Thus while men are having a pee they see his brand, in what he hopes is a humorous context, and the name sticks with us. The problem is that some of us look forward to the urinal as one of the few places where we still have a few moments of private thoughts in the midst of the media bombardment that surrounds us every day. When an advertisement intrudes on those few intimate moments, my reaction is to oppose the product, not embrace it. And even if that weren't so, why is it a good idea to advertise in the place where people are most likely to carve vulgar slogans on the wall? Ads in the toilet just ask to be defaced.
Similarly he writes about putting his ads on the backs of the slips we pull out of fortune cookies. He says this is good because marketers need to find places that have not already been saturated with ads as the new media for their names. But there are so few spaces that have not been slapped with advertising (even public schools and churches wear ads and slogans these days) that a backlash is growing, demanding ad-free space. Hughes seems here to be playing for customer anger, not customer attention.
The culmination comes when he suggests we use Britney Spears as our model for how to build buzz. A year ago this advice might have seemed charmingly naive in light of her merely average album sales and the fact that she hadn't had a real breakout hit since 2000. But in the wake of her recent public flame-out and her spiral into pathos this advice is downright absurd. Sure, there's plenty of buzz around Britney's name. But chances are you don't want your brand or product to be late-night comedy fodder. Suggesting we mimic Britney isn't just silly, it's the very opposite of good advice.
Any astute reader can go through the book and find similar problems. Sure, Apple launched their Macintosh with a genius Super Bowl ad in 1984, but their Super Bowl ad in 1985 was so awful that it nearly sank the brand. American Idol is a cultural force, but it has only turned out two real breakout stars. Burma Shave signs are iconic, but I can't find the product in the stores.
If you can check this book out at the library or borrow it from a friend, the first four or five chapters are worth your time and effort. But close the book no later than page 93 ("Wolford and Perhaps You") and move into practice. This book has some good ideas to start you in the right direction, but reading Hughes' myopic self-congratulatory suggestions will do you more harm than good. Better to just get started and trust your own creativity.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I gave it 4 stars because I didn't have direct indulgence.
In the book, Buzzmarketing, the author discusses the best ways to get people to talk about what it is you are selling. Mr.Read more