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.

DefinitionBuzz Marketing, also known as Buzzing, is a marketing strategy that relies on creating buzz or excitement around a product, service, or brand. It aims to generate word-of-mouth and online discussions among consumers, which can lead to increased awareness, interest, and ultimately, sales. Buzz marketing often leverages unconventional tactics, viral content, or influencer partnerships to spark interest and engagement.
Key ConceptsWord-of-Mouth: Buzz marketing relies heavily on the organic spread of information through word-of-mouth recommendations. Excitement and Curiosity: It aims to create excitement and curiosity among consumers, prompting them to talk about and share the brand or product. Viral Content: The creation of viral content is a common tactic to generate buzz quickly. Influencer Engagement: Partnering with influencers can amplify the reach and impact of buzz marketing. Online Discussions: Encouraging online conversations and discussions about the brand or product is a key goal. Target Audience: Identifying and engaging with the right target audience is crucial for success. Authenticity: Authenticity in messaging and engagement is essential to maintain credibility.
MethodsBuzz marketing can employ various methods, including: 1. Viral Content: Creating content (videos, posts, articles) with the potential to go viral. 2. Influencer Partnerships: Collaborating with influencers who have a significant following. 3. Guerrilla Marketing: Unconventional and attention-grabbing tactics in public spaces. 4. Contests and Challenges: Creating challenges or contests that encourage user participation. 5. Teasers and Previews: Providing sneak peeks or teasers to pique interest.
AdvantagesBuzz marketing offers several advantages: 1. Cost-Effective: Compared to traditional advertising, it can be more cost-effective. 2. High Engagement: It can generate high levels of engagement and interaction. 3. Rapid Awareness: Buzz can spread quickly, leading to rapid brand or product awareness. 4. Credibility: Word-of-mouth recommendations from peers can carry significant credibility. 5. Customer Involvement: Involves customers in the marketing process, making them feel part of the brand.
ChallengesChallenges associated with buzz marketing include: 1. Unpredictability: Viral success is unpredictable and not guaranteed. 2. Reputation Management: Negative buzz can also spread quickly, requiring careful reputation management. 3. Short-Lived: Buzz can be short-lived, and maintaining interest can be challenging. 4. Ethical Concerns: Some buzz marketing tactics may raise ethical concerns, especially if they deceive or manipulate consumers.
ExamplesNotable examples of buzz marketing campaigns include the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS awareness, Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches, and Burger King’s Subservient Chicken campaign. These campaigns generated significant online buzz and discussion, resulting in increased brand visibility and engagement.
MeasurementMeasuring the success of buzz marketing can be challenging but can include metrics such as social media mentions, shares, comments, click-through rates, and sales conversions resulting from the buzz. Surveys and customer feedback can also provide insights into consumer sentiment.
ConclusionBuzz Marketing is a marketing strategy that capitalizes on generating excitement, curiosity, and conversations around a brand or product. Leveraging word-of-mouth, viral content, influencer partnerships, and unconventional tactics, it seeks to create a buzz that drives brand awareness and engagement. While unpredictable, successful buzz marketing campaigns can have a significant impact on a brand’s visibility and consumer sentiment. Careful planning, authenticity, and ethical considerations are key to harnessing the power of buzz marketing effectively.

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. 

Case Studies

  • Ice Bucket Challenge: This viral campaign aimed to raise awareness and funds for motor neuron disease (ALS). Participants would pour a bucket of ice-cold water over their heads, challenge others to do the same, and donate to the ALS Association. Celebrities, including Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, joined the challenge, making it a massive success.
  • Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”: Old Spice created a series of humorous and absurd commercials featuring “The Old Spice Guy.” The character interacted with viewers in real-time on social media, making it one of the most talked-about ad campaigns of its time.
  • Dove “Real Beauty”: Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign challenged conventional beauty standards by celebrating real women’s bodies in their advertising. This campaign generated discussions about body positivity and self-esteem.
  • Burger King’s “Subservient Chicken”: Burger King created a website where users could control a person in a chicken costume through their commands. It was quirky, interactive, and generated buzz around the brand.
  • Red Bull Stratos: Red Bull sponsored Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking freefall from the edge of space, capturing global attention and reinforcing Red Bull’s brand image as an energy drink associated with extreme activities.
  • ALS “#VoiceYourLove”: To continue the momentum from the Ice Bucket Challenge, ALS launched the #VoiceYourLove campaign on Valentine’s Day. The campaign encouraged people to send heartfelt messages to their loved ones, raising awareness about ALS and the impact it has on speech.
  • Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?”: Blendtec, a blender manufacturer, created a series of YouTube videos in which they blended unusual items like iPhones and golf balls. The humorous and unexpected content showcased the product’s power and durability.
  • Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark”: During a power outage at the Super Bowl, Oreo tweeted a simple image of an Oreo cookie in the dark with the caption “You can still dunk in the dark.” The timely and clever tweet garnered massive attention and engagement.
  • Airbnb’s “We Accept”: In response to controversy around discrimination on its platform, Airbnb launched the “We Accept” campaign, emphasizing inclusivity and acceptance. The campaign featured a Super Bowl ad and garnered positive attention.
  • Taco Bell’s Taco Emoji Proposal: Taco Bell petitioned for the creation of a taco emoji, launching a campaign and social media efforts. Their campaign gained support from thousands of people and ultimately led to the introduction of a taco emoji.

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.

Key highlights of buzz marketing:

  • Word-of-Mouth Power: Buzz marketing relies on the potency of word-of-mouth advertising, as 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends or family when making buying decisions.
  • Cost-Effective: This form of advertising is highly cost-effective because consumers voluntarily spread the word about a brand without the need for additional marketing expenditures.
  • Online and Offline Applications: Buzz marketing is versatile and can be applied effectively in both online and offline spaces, driving significant traffic and boosting sales quickly.
  • Creates Excitement: Buzz marketing gets consumers excited about a product or service, often using versatile content that can spread across various channels and leveraging the fear of missing out (FOMO) to amplify its impact.
  • Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon: Successful buzz marketing campaigns tap into the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, where consumers start encountering a brand or product repeatedly, leading to it becoming embedded in their thoughts.
  • Attributes of Success: Successful buzz marketing campaigns typically possess attributes such as high visibility (e.g., Super Bowl commercials), substance (meaningful and relevant content), and humor (content that makes people laugh and want to share).

Visual Marketing Glossary

Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy where the marketing and sales departments come together to create personalized buying experiences for high-value accounts. Account-based marketing is a business-to-business (B2B) approach in which marketing and sales teams work together to target high-value accounts and turn them into customers.


Ad Ops – also known as Digital Ad Operations – refers to systems and processes that support digital advertisements’ delivery and management. The concept describes any process that helps a marketing team manage, run, or optimize ad campaigns, making them an integrating part of the business operations.

AARRR Funnel

Venture capitalist, Dave McClure, coined the acronym AARRR which is a simplified model that enables to understand what metrics and channels to look at, at each stage for the users’ path toward becoming customers and referrers of a brand.

Affinity Marketing

Affinity marketing involves a partnership between two or more businesses to sell more products. Note that this is a mutually beneficial arrangement where one brand can extend its reach and enhance its credibility in association with the other.

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.

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.

Bullseye Framework

The bullseye framework is a simple method that enables you to prioritize the marketing channels that will make your company gain traction. The main logic of the bullseye framework is to find the marketing channels that work and prioritize them.

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 Dilution

According to inbound marketing platform HubSpot, brand dilution occurs “when a company’s brand equity diminishes due to an unsuccessful brand extension, which is a new product the company develops in an industry that they don’t have any market share in.” Brand dilution, therefore, occurs when a brand decreases in value after the company releases a product that does not align with its vision, mission, or skillset. 

Brand Essence Wheel

The brand essence wheel is a templated approach businesses can use to better understand their brand. The brand essence wheel has obvious implications for external brand strategy. However, it is equally important in simplifying brand strategy for employees without a strong marketing background. Although many variations of the brand essence wheel exist, a comprehensive wheel incorporates information from five categories: attributes, benefits, values, personality, brand essence.

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.

Customer Lifetime Value

One of the first mentions of customer lifetime value was in the 1988 book Database Marketing: Strategy and Implementation written by Robert Shaw and Merlin Stone. Customer lifetime value (CLV) represents the value of a customer to a company over a period of time. It represents a critical business metric, especially for SaaS or recurring revenue-based businesses.

Customer Segmentation

Customer segmentation is a marketing method that divides the customers in sub-groups, that share similar characteristics. Thus, product, marketing and engineering teams can center the strategy from go-to-market to product development and communication around each sub-group. Customer segments can be broken down is several ways, such as demographics, geography, psychographics and more.

Developer Marketing

Developer marketing encompasses tactics designed to grow awareness and adopt software tools, solutions, and SaaS platforms. Developer marketing has become the standard among software companies with a platform component, where developers can build applications on top of the core software or open software. Therefore, engaging developer communities has become a key element of marketing for many digital businesses.

Digital Marketing Channels

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.

Field Marketing

Field marketing is a general term that encompasses face-to-face marketing activities carried out in the field. These activities may include street promotions, conferences, sales, and various forms of experiential marketing. Field marketing, therefore, refers to any marketing activity that is performed in the field.

Funnel Marketing

interaction with a brand until they become a paid customer and beyond. Funnel marketing is modeled after the marketing funnel, a concept that tells the company how it should market to consumers based on their position in the funnel itself. The notion of a customer embarking on a journey when interacting with a brand was first proposed by Elias St. Elmo Lewis in 1898. Funnel marketing typically considers three stages of a non-linear marketing funnel. These are top of the funnel (TOFU), middle of the funnel (MOFU), and bottom of the funnel (BOFU). Particular marketing strategies at each stage are adapted to the level of familiarity the consumer has with a brand.

Go-To-Market Strategy

A go-to-market strategy represents how companies market their new products to reach target customers in a scalable and repeatable way. It starts with how new products/services get developed to how these organizations target potential customers (via sales and marketing models) to enable their value proposition to be delivered to create a competitive advantage.


The term “greenwashing” was first coined by environmentalist Jay Westerveld in 1986 at a time when most consumers received their news from television, radio, and print media. Some companies took advantage of limited public access to information by portraying themselves as environmental stewards – even when their actions proved otherwise. Greenwashing is a deceptive marketing practice where a company makes unsubstantiated claims about an environmentally-friendly product or service.

Grassroots Marketing

Grassroots marketing involves a brand creating highly targeted content for a particular niche or audience. When an organization engages in grassroots marketing, it focuses on a small group of people with the hope that its marketing message is shared with a progressively larger audience.

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.

Hunger Marketing

Hunger marketing is a marketing strategy focused on manipulating consumer emotions. By bringing products to market with an attractive price point and restricted supply, consumers have a stronger desire to make a purchase.

Integrated Communication

Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is an approach used by businesses to coordinate and brand their communication strategies. Integrated marketing communication takes separate marketing functions and combines them into one, interconnected approach with a core brand message that is consistent across various channels. These encompass owned, earned, and paid media. Integrated marketing communication has been used to great effect by companies such as Snapchat, Snickers, and Domino’s.

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 Myopia

Marketing myopia is the nearsighted focus on selling goods and services at the expense of consumer needs. Marketing myopia was coined by Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt in 1960. Originally, Levitt described the concept in the context of organizations in high-growth industries that become complacent in their belief that such industries never fail.

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.

Meme Marketing

Meme marketing is any marketing strategy that uses memes to promote a brand. The term “meme” itself was popularized by author Richard Dawkins over 50 years later in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. In the book, Dawkins described how ideas evolved and were shared across different cultures. The internet has enabled this exchange to occur at an exponential rate, with the first modern memes emerging in the late 1990s and early 2000s.


Microtargeting is a marketing strategy that utilizes consumer demographic data to identify the interests of a very specific group of individuals. Like most marketing strategies, the goal of microtargeting is to positively influence consumer behavior.

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”.

Net Promoter Score

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measure of the ability of a product or service to attract word-of-mouth advertising. NPS is a crucial part of any marketing strategy since attracting and then retaining customers means they are more likely to recommend a business to others.


Neuromarketing information is collected by measuring brain activity related to specific brain functions using sophisticated and expensive technology such as MRI machines. Some businesses also choose to make inferences of neurological responses by analyzing biometric and heart-rate data. Neuromarketing is the domain of large companies with similarly large budgets or subsidies. These include Frito-Lay, Google, and The Weather Channel.


Newsjacking as a marketing strategy was popularised by David Meerman Scott in his book Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage. Newsjacking describes the practice of aligning a brand with a current event to generate media attention and increase brand exposure.

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.

Push vs. Pull Marketing

We can define pull and push marketing from the perspective of the target audience or customers. In push marketing, as the name suggests, you’re promoting a product so that consumers can see it. In a pull strategy, consumers might look for your product or service drawn by its brand.

Real-Time Marketing

Real-time marketing is as exactly as it sounds. It involves in-the-moment marketing to customers across any channel based on how that customer is interacting with the brand.

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.

Reverse Marketing

Reverse marketing describes any marketing strategy that encourages consumers to seek out a product or company on their own. This approach differs from a traditional marketing strategy where marketers seek out the consumer.


Remarketing involves the creation of personalized and targeted ads for consumers who have already visited a company’s website. The process works in this way: as users visit a brand’s website, they are tagged with cookies that follow the users, and as they land on advertising platforms where retargeting is an option (like social media platforms) they get served ads based on their navigation.

Sensory Marketing

Sensory marketing describes any marketing campaign designed to appeal to the five human senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are enabling marketers to design fun, interactive, and immersive sensory marketing brand experiences. Long term, businesses must develop sensory marketing campaigns that are relevant and effective in eCommerce.

Services Marketing

Services marketing originated as a separate field of study during the 1980s. Researchers realized that the unique characteristics of services required different marketing strategies to those used in the promotion of physical goods. Services marketing is a specialized branch of marketing that promotes the intangible benefits delivered by a company to create customer value.

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.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is a marketing strategy skewed toward offering a great experience to existing customers and incentivizing them to share it with other potential customers. That is one of the most effective forms of marketing as it enables a company to gain traction based on existing customers’ referrals. When repeat customers become a key enabler for the brand this is one of the best organic and sustainable growth marketing strategies.

360 Marketing

360 marketing is a marketing campaign that utilizes all available mediums, channels, and consumer touchpoints. 360 marketing requires the business to maintain a consistent presence across multiple online and offline channels. This ensures it does not miss potentially lucrative customer segments. By its very nature, 360 marketing describes any number of different marketing strategies. However, a broad and holistic marketing strategy should incorporate a website, SEO, PPC, email marketing, social media, public relations, in-store relations, and traditional forms of advertising such as television.

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