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Word of mouth is the most powerful, influential and persuasive force in the marketplace.

Despite what you may have heard, you need a lot more than hustle to market your business. Energy alone isn’t enough. And the energy you do spend on your marketing must be intelligently and strategically directed.

Intelligent marketing is marketing focused on a core idea. All of your marketing, both online and offline, must be an extension of this idea.  And it isn’t enough to have a better idea – you need to have a tightly focused and integrated strategy for communicating your marketing message.

A key component of an integrated digital marketing strategy is how you create buzz.

What is buzz?

Buzz is the sum of all comments about a business, product, or service exchanged among people at any given time. The best buzz always comes from third parties. Word of mouth is the most powerful, influential and persuasive force in the marketplace. And the easiest way to create word of mouth for your products and services is to ask for it.

Buzz is a powerful marketing weapon for us to use because it is in our genes. Sharing information is an essential survival mechanism. We are genetically programmed to do it. In fact, more than 80% of people use their personal networks as sources for new information – higher than all other advertising sources.

Asking for information from others can save us time. Asking for advice can also reduce our risk, cost, and uncertainty. And, it makes good economic sense. We personally benefit from talking about products and services because they may become increasingly valuable as more people use them.

The theory of creating buzz is your primary investments should be time, energy, and imagination. You want to achieve a high return on imagination as opposed to a high return on investment. Obtaining a high return on imagination requires you to count the relationships you’ve made each month.

Having a “people strategy” is important because your prospective clients and customers are far more likely to turn to friends, family and others before making a purchase of any kind rather than using traditional media to gather ideas and research their options.

Buzz happens by design

The rule governing word-of-mouth marketing says 90% of the world is influenced by the other 10%. A buzz campaign must be based on targeted communication.

In the digital age you are competing with many hundreds of thousands of others for attention. And attention is the scarcest resource of all. Creating buzz is not easy. Only the clearest, most concise and well-positioned marketing messages break through the clutter in getting the word out about your business and its products and services.

Buzz doesn’t happen by accident even if your competitors think so. It must be carefully cultivated and strategically crafted with an underlying architecture in place to support it. And, it requires a comprehensive, strategic word-of-mouth marketing plan. If you don’t have one in place for the coming year, you are missing one of the biggest and most cost-effective opportunities in marketing available to you.

Proof of the effectiveness of your word-of-mouth marketing campaigns is in your profit, not your sales. To increase the likelihood of realizing profit, you must track the effectiveness of each marketing weapon you use to know which ones are hitting your target and which are missing it. Then, simply let go of those that aren’t working for you without regret and concentrate on and reward those that are.

More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.

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