EUCAM - European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing

Marketing in the pub

14 February 2008

Marketing in the pub Traditional advertising is out dated and consumers will be used as marketers. This conclusion is drawn by Adformatie, a Dutch weekly magazine on advertising, marketing and media. About the new trend in marketing strategies: Buzz Marketing or Word of Mouth Marketing.

Buzz Marketing is nothing more than plugging a product by a specific group of consumers. All you have to do is waiting till this group starts to talk about the product. From 2000 this accompaniment of talking is called Buzz Marketing.

It is more than just talking and gossip. In the United States it is already an industry of milliards. Marketers in the US expect that there will be over 1,35 milliard US dollar spend to Word of the Mouth in 2007, which would make it the sharpest growing marketing segment. It is expected that this amount will be increased to 3,7 milliard euro in 2011.

According to the Adformatie, this raise only makes sense. BIGresearch asked 15.000 respondents in 2007 which medium was the strongest predictor of their decision to purchase. It appeared that in all age categories and online as well as offline Word of the Mouth had the highest score. New products of Grolsch and Heineken are already marketing by Word of the Mouth in the Netherlands.

The first Dutch company specialized on Buzz Marketing was established in 2005. It is called "Buzzer". Buzzer has already over 30.000 buzzers. A specific group of buzzers is selected from this group for each customer, since the product should suit the buzzer. Product samples and buzz tools are used to get the conversation started. It is expected from the buzzers that they report their experience with the product. This report can be read on the website of Buzzer ( Buzzers will participate for free for the 'status'. They will be the first ones to test the product. "The exchange of product experiences is essential of Word of Mouth for me" says Willem Soderland, the CEO of Buzzer. In his opinion, this distinguishes Buzz Marketing from Guerrilla Marketing: "Guerrilla doesn't deal with product experiences, but is a kind of advertising taken by surprise." Guerrilla marketing can of course act as a catalyst of a huge buzz. Sodderland emphasized that Buzz Marketing should be open and transparent. "That implies that you also should know who the sender is. This makes it different from many guerrilla-actions as well, of which the sender it is not always clear" says Soderland.

Buzzers do not disturb friends says Soderland: "They know when somebody finds it interesting to hear more about something, and they often give an image with nuances with positive and critical aspects." This aspect makes it very interesting for producers to use buzz marketers to improve their products or to think of new products. Soderland emphasizes that consumers have a lot of trust in the advice of their colleagues, friends and acquaintances. Although mass media is commonly used, people trust buzz marketing more than mass media. However, Soderland says that producers still emphasize on mass media since: "They (marketers) would like to give their own message to the world. They are in control, they think [...]". In Soderland's opinion Word of the Mouth marketing is the most important and powerful type of marketing: "Word of the mouth is in many cases crucial for the biggest part of the sales. And what do companies? They spend 90 percent of their budget to advertising or promotion which do not help to increase to stimulate this mouth-to-mouth exchange. On the contrary: many financial services, for examples, focus all their actions and promotions on new clients, which get better conditions than existing clients. In this way you will be sure that these (clients) will never buzz positively about you".

More information:

Source: Adformatie 4 (January 24, 2008)

The Journal of Advertising Research has devoted an issue on Buzz Marketing Vol. 47, No. 4, Dec 2007

The International Word of Mouth Conference will be held in Paris on May 8/9 2008

Remarks of EUCAM:

Besides Buzzer, which has Grolsch and Heineken as a customer, there is another Dutch Advertising Agency called Icemedia has customers as Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Bacardi. The Buzz Marketing Strategy of Bacardi is described at the website. Icemedia has besides an headquarter in Amsterdam, offices in eight European countries and Japan.

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