MarketingProfs features one of the best articles I've seen that summarizes the origins and techniques of viral/buzz/word-of-mouth marketing, which the author refers to collectively as "connected marketing." The article is actually an excerpt from a book by Justin Kirby called (not surprisingly) Connected Marketing: The Viral, Buzz and Word of Mouth Revolution. Kirby notes that a whopping 92% of Americans cite word-of-mouth as their preferred method of receiving product information. The rise in consumer power and the ready availability of communication and information tools means that the world of marketing is undergoing some major shifts, and these connected marketing strategies are vitally important for us librarians to study and use effectively.
Kirby does a great job of demonstrating what connected marketing means ("We have gone a step further and coined the umbrella term "connected marketing" to denote any kind of marketing...that creates conversations in target markets that add measurable value to a brand."), and how to measure and use it ("Even more fundamentally, connected marketing should ideally sit at the heart of the business, involving customers, employees, and consumers in product research, production trials, seeding trials, and every step of product or service development before even getting to marketing communications and promotion."). If there's one trend I've found that seems to be dominating the future (and present) marketing landscape, this is it. And, in my opinion, libraries are hubs of conversation, cooperation, and information-sharing, so these techniques are especially appealing and a natural outgrowth of our service philosophy. If you want to explore these techniques further, there is an overabundance of literature on the topic, but you may want to start with looking at the Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association's site (which I mention often, appropriately enough) and KnowThis.com's section on Viral Marketing, Referral and Buzz Marketing.
Some of you may already read MarketingProf's weekly articles, but for those who don't, I try to draw out the best ones that have the most relevance for librarians, and there are always a lot of them! Here are some recent ones that are also worth reading:
- The New Rules of PR
- How to Write an Effective Survey Questionnaire (Part 1)
- How to Implement a Winning Segment Strategy (This is a decent refresher of the basics.)