What Is Buzz Marketing And Why It Matters In Business

Buzz marketing leverages the power of word-of-mouth advertising to create products or services with enough novelty that they go viral. In many cases, buzz marketing leverages on versatile content that can easily scale and be readapted to various contexts and fear of missing out (FOMO) to amplify the effect of word-of-mouth campaigns.

Understanding buzz marketing

Buzz marketing is particularly effective because it is a form of word-of-mouth advertising. Marketing agency Nielsen report that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends or family when making a buying decision.

This form of advertising is also one of the most cost-effective. In other words, consumers spread the good word about a brand for free without the business having to invest in other marketing strategies.

Aside from being cost-effective, buzz marketing has numerous applications in both the online and offline spaces. Done correctly, this form of advertising drives large amounts of traffic to an offer and can increase sales revenue in a very short period.

Why is buzz marketing so effective?

Buzz marketing is effective because it gets consumers excited. 

Here is how it achieves this:

  • Versatile content – most marketing strategies focus on a specific channel. For example, some may be Instagram-specific while others are better suited to email marketing. With buzz marketing, however, a single piece of content can generate large amounts of organic referrals across multiple channels simultaneously.
  • Fear of missing out (FOMO) – buzz marketing taps into FOMO because people feel they need to be a part of the conversation. This is particularly true if the conversation is generating buzz and virality.
  • Baader-Meinhof phenomenon – otherwise known as the frequency illusion, the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon describes a situation where after encountering something new, the consumer starts to encounter it repeatedly. Eventually, a consumer has enough interactions with a brand or product that it becomes embedded in their thoughts.

Creating a successful buzz marketing campaign

Generating buzz is easier said than done, but most successful campaigns possess one or more of the following attributes.


Visibility is perhaps the most important aspect of buzz marketing. Super Bowl commercials are a prime example of visibility, with companies spending millions of dollars in development and placement with the hope of creating something viral.

Visibility can also be enhanced when high-profile figures become involved in a campaign. When Bill Gates participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for motor neuron disease, he then nominated Elon Musk to do the same. This marketing campaign – arguably one of the most successful in recent times – raised important funds for disease research.


Buzz marketing must also have substance to be effective. Consumers will not get behind a campaign that is gimmicky or shallow, instead preferring something new and interesting that actively connects with them on some level.

For example, bra company ThirdLove created a buzz by running campaigns focusing on inclusivity. The brand was one of the first to pioneer a range of products suitable for a diverse range of women of all shapes, sizes, and skin tones.


Humour is another attribute that encourages people to share content with their friends and family.

American airline Delta uses humor in its flight safety videos, incorporating animated cartoons with tongue-in-cheek content relevant to the quirks air travel. This encourages consumers to share Delta’s content with friends, no doubt encouraging them to choose the airline in the future. 

Key takeaways:

  • Buzz marketing is a marketing technique leveraging on virality to enhance word-of-mouth advertising of a product or service.
  • Buzz marketing is a cost-effective means of driving sales through organic referrals in a relatively short period of time. It achieves this through versatile content that takes advantage of certain aspects of human behavior.
  • Most successful buzz marketing campaigns rely on visibility, substance, and humor as the main drivers of virality.

Connected Marketing Concepts

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing describes the process whereby an affiliate earns a commission for selling the products of another person or company. Here, the affiliate is simply an individual who is motivated to promote a particular product through incentivization. The business whose product is being promoted will gain in terms of sales and marketing from affiliates.

Ambush Marketing

As the name suggests, ambush marketing raises awareness for brands at events in a covert and unexpected fashion. Ambush marketing takes many forms, one common element, the brand advertising their products or services has not paid for the right to do so. Thus, the business doing the ambushing attempts to capitalize on the efforts made by the business sponsoring the event.

Brand Building

Brand building is the set of activities that help companies to build an identity that can be recognized by its audience. Thus, it works as a mechanism of identification through core values that signal trust and that help build long-term relationships between the brand and its key stakeholders.

Brand Equity

The brand equity is the premium that a customer is willing to pay for a product that has all the objective characteristics of existing alternatives, thus, making it different in terms of perception. The premium on seemingly equal products and quality is attributable to its brand equity.

Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is about creating a mental real estate in the mind of the target market. If successful, brand positioning allows a business to gain a competitive advantage. And it also works as a switching cost in favor of the brand. Consumers recognizing a brand might be less prone to switch to another brand.

Business Storytelling

Business storytelling is a critical part of developing a business model. Indeed, the way you frame the story of your organization will influence its brand in the long-term. That’s because your brand story is tied to your brand identity, and it enables people to identify with a company.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most powerful commercial activities which focuses on leveraging content production (text, audio, video, or other formats) to attract a targeted audience. Content marketing focuses on building a strong brand, but also to convert part of that targeted audience into potential customers.

Digital Marketing

A digital channel is a marketing channel, part of a distribution strategy, helping an organization to reach its potential customers via electronic means. There are several digital marketing channels, usually divided into organic and paid channels. Some organic channels are SEO, SMO, email marketing. And some paid channels comprise SEM, SMM, and display advertising.

Growth Marketing

Growth marketing is a process of rapid experimentation, which in a way has to be “scientific” by keeping in mind that it is used by startups to grow, quickly. Thus, the “scientific” here is not meant in the academic sense. Growth marketing is expected to unlock growth, quickly and with an often limited budget.

Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is an advertising strategy that seeks to utilize low-cost and sometimes unconventional tactics that are high impact. First coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book of the same title, guerrilla marketing works best on existing customers who are familiar with a brand or product and its particular characteristics.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy designed to attract customers to a brand with content and experiences that they derive value from. Inbound marketing utilizes blogs, events, SEO, and social media to create brand awareness and attract targeted consumers. By attracting or “drawing in” a targeted audience, inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing which actively pushes a brand onto consumers who may have no interest in what is being offered.

Integrated Marketing

Integrated marketing describes the process of delivering consistent and relevant content to a target audience across all marketing channels. It is a cohesive, unified, and immersive marketing strategy that is cost-effective and relies on brand identity and storytelling to amplify the brand to a wider and wider audience.

Marketing Mix

The marketing mix is a term to describe the multi-faceted approach to a complete and effective marketing plan. Traditionally, this plan included the four Ps of marketing: price, product, promotion, and place. But the exact makeup of a marketing mix has undergone various changes in response to new technologies and ways of thinking. Additions to the four Ps include physical evidence, people, process, and even politics.

Marketing Personas

Marketing personas give businesses a general overview of key segments of their target audience and how these segments interact with their brand. Marketing personas are based on the data of an ideal, fictional customer whose characteristics, needs, and motivations are representative of a broader market segment.

Multi-Channel Marketing

Multichannel marketing executes a marketing strategy across multiple platforms to reach as many consumers as possible. Here, a platform may refer to product packaging, word-of-mouth advertising, mobile apps, email, websites, or promotional events, and all the other channels that can help amplify the brand to reach as many consumers as possible.

Multi-Level Marketing

Multi-level marketing (MLM), otherwise known as network or referral marketing, is a strategy in which businesses sell their products through person-to-person sales. When consumers join MLM programs, they act as distributors. Distributors make money by selling the product directly to other consumers. They earn a small percentage of sales from those that they recruit to do the same – often referred to as their “downline”.

Niche Marketing

A microniche is a subset of potential customers within a niche. In the era of dominating digital super-platforms, identifying a microniche can kick off the strategy of digital businesses to prevent competition against large platforms. As the microniche becomes a niche, then a market, scale becomes an option.

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing involves businesses and their brands forming long-term relationships with customers. The focus of relationship marketing is to increase customer loyalty and engagement through high-quality products and services. It differs from short-term processes focused solely on customer acquisition and individual sales.

Sustainable Marketing

Sustainable marketing describes how a business will invest in social and environmental initiatives as part of its marketing strategy. Also known as green marketing, it is often used to counteract public criticism around wastage, misleading advertising, and poor quality or unsafe products.

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