As I have discussed before in a previous post, Thinking Outside the Screen- WoM Advertising, word of mouth (WoM) is now an incredible marketing tool used by several companies intentionally through viral marketing methods, and unintentionally by simple generating “buzz.” In 2001, an entrepreneur named Dave Balter took this trend to the next level by creating BzzAgent, the world’s first WoM media channel, allowing companies to develop and execute their own WOM campaigns through a community of over 300,000 consumer volunteers, or “agents.” Balter’s vision was to
“…create a platform that would allow people to experience new products and services, share their honest opinions about them with people they knew and report those activities and opinions so marketers could directly see the results.”
It was an innovative new way to organize and track word of mouth of certain companies. So, how does it work? Well, a company first contacts BzzAgent to initiate a campaign. The company then tells BzzAgent who their target audience is, and BzzAgent contacts the agents that meet that criteria. The agents are then “shown” the product or service the company is trying to promote by actually trying it out for themselves. Then the agents begin talking about it, telling people they know what they thought about the product or service that they tried out. BzzAgent then talks back with the agent in order to encourage even more discussion. Here’s where the real beauty of the program is. BzzAgent analyzes the WoM campaign, giving the company
“…agent reports and communications so [the company] can fully understand the impact of [its] WOM campaign.”
BzzAgent also gives the company qualitative feedback and market recommendations, based on the real conversations going on about the product or service.
“So, if people didn’t like the color of your product, had ideas for improved packaging or thought the service didn’t live up to expectations — [BzzAgent will] tell you. This real-world information provides invaluable customer insight that can inform product, marketing and sales strategies.”
The company also has a blog, The BeeLog, which features somewhat regular posts of the company’s CEO, Dave Balter. It is also relevant to point out that Dave Balter is the founder of the Word of Mouth Marketing Assocation (WOMMA). You can read more about WOMMA on their website or in my previous post, Thinking Outside the Screen.
Whether you are a company looking for a way to take advantage of new media or a consumer who wants to tell marketers how good or terrible their products and services are, Check out BzzAgent!
Also be sure to check out Dave Balter’s Book: Grapevine: The New Art of Word-of-Mouth Marketing. Written by the founder of both BzzAgent and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, Balter is sure to reveal some insider insight on how companies can take advantage of this medium.
Also, don’t forget to check out a book I previously featured in my last WoM post: Thinking Outside the Screen, Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking, By Andy Sernovitz, Chief Executive of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. A foreword by Seth Godin, a best selling author of marketing books and brilliant individual. I encourage anybody interested in Word of Mouth to check it out!