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Marketing Buzz - Nine Best Themes for Marketing
Friday, July 06, 2007
We have heard about popular marketing buzzwords, such as "customer centric", "low-hanging fruit" or even "viral marketing" but these buzzwords do not necessarily represent effective marketing themes or "stories" as some put it. Over at Guy Kawasaki's How to Change the World blog, Guy had a great post about the book Beyond Buzz: The Next Generation of Word-of-Mouth Marketing.

The book, authored by Lois Kelly, represents her explanation of the top nine types of stories that people like to talk about. Guy suggests that:
If you’re pitching your company to investors, customers, partners, journalists, vendors, or employees and you don’t use at least one of these story lines, you probably have a problem.
For my money, viral marketing will always be one of the most effective forms of marketing. Viral marketing can be a positive boost for your organization or, in instances, it can result in a negative experience. (They say that word of mouth over a negative experience travels 10 times faster than word of mouth for a good experience.) Here is a break down of the nine types of stories that people like to talk about according to Lois Kelly's book:
  1. Aspirations and beliefs. More than any other topic, people like to hear about aspirations and beliefs. Think religion with this one.
  2. David vs. Goliath. The favorite versus the underdog. Everyone seems to like it when the little person can stick it to the man.
  3. Avalanche about to roll. Being in the "know" and getting the story before it really goes mainstream.
  4. Contrarian/counterintuitive/challenging assumptions. Positions that oppose the mainstream. A number of bloggers use this type of message as link bait when posting their views on a particular topic. Counterintuitive. Causes people to go against their natural "gut-instinct" forcing the user to stop and think about the concept that is presented.
  5. Anxieties. This theme is used quite often to grab attention as it often plays off of people's fears. Your mortgage broker or bank telling you to lock in your mortgage hinting that the rates may go up when in fact they end up staying the same for a few months. Insurance companies trying to sell you additional coverage is another example of using the anxiety theme. The issue with this theme is that people are becoming more skeptical and for good reason.
  6. Personalities and personal stories. Personal stories with some life lessons that provide value to the intended audience. A great example of this is seeing Mr. Guy Kawasaki speak. I had the pleasure of seeing Guy Kawasaki speak this past March here in Kelowna at 2007 Silicon Vineyard Innovation Awards. His "speech" was not a typical lecture that we are accustomed to seeing at events such as this. His points of making mantra and making meaning were illustrated with examples of his own personal stories that were inspiring, will be remembered, and instilled into my life and applied to our organizational culture.
  7. How-to stories and advice. People don't want fluff, they want the stuff. People like pragmatic advice on how to do things. People like seeing a step by step process.
  8. Glitz and glam. People like hearing about "the show". I call this the novelty effect if you will where people are awestruck by a personality, point of view or opinion.
  9. Seasonal/event-related. Timing they say is everything. People are often fascinated by timely stories or marketing messages with seasonal events. Can you say 30 second spot during the Super Bowl?
Sounds like a very interesting book. I have yet to obtain a copy so if you happen to have an extra copy of Beyond Buzz: The Next Generation of Word-of-Mouth Marketing I would definitely like to check it out. You can email me at jnimetz at gmail.com.

Guy if you happen to come across this post, I'll be at SES San Jose in August and would love to do lunch. I probably won't have my hockey gear with me, but lunch might work.


posted by Jody @ Friday, July 06, 2007  
  • At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Ajit said…

    Action is always neccessary than ideas or beliefs.

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