Creating Success With Sustainable Marketing Buzz

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by on March 20, 2012

Many marketers dream about creating buzz during a launch of their new product, service or business. Businesses that experience strong buzz often receive outsized results, amplifying their budget and revenues.

The hope is that a creative message matched with complementary media can propel an exciting, fresh, fun or celebrity-associated promotion into a winner. If successful, it might rapidly spread through word-of-mouth or, when using digital media, instantaneously ripple into social chatter on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. Who wouldn’t desire such effective marketing?

Someone with a different dream and, in this case, perhaps the vision of a reformist. Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, shares his story in Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profit, Passion and Purpose, where he advises,

Another common trap that many marketers fall into is focusing too much on trying to figure out how to generate a lot of buzz, when really they should be focused on building engagement and trust.

Hsieh’s (as in “Shay’s”) company grew at an exponential rate over 10 years, from sales of zero to achieving over one billion dollars in 2008. Zappos chose to focus on and deliver WOW quality in their customer service, culture and employee training and development.

. . . the devil is in the details. And that’s where we’re breaking new ground.

He encourages continuous improvement, openness and passion that are informed and perpetuated by seven core values. Hsieh believes his employees should be . . .

. . . learning and adapting and figuring new things out – helping the company grow, and in the process they will also be growing themselves.

Zappos’ approach to creating buzz may start slower, and requires daily focus, but I think it is more likely to produce sustainable buzz. Zappos defined its core values after substantial growth, realizing the ongoing importance of preserving them. The result is a marketing buzz, reputation or brand that is aligned with their core values and promises delivered to customers.

How can you get started? Zappos started when Hsieh drafted a list of core values, then asked each employee to write a few sentences with their perceptions. He treated it as a learning process for everyone.

What core values does your company have that are reflected in its marketing buzz?

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