Wednesday, 13 March 2013


Is buzz no more valuable than an ad?

What if the experts are wrong and ads are just as persuasive as buzz? This can't

be possible, can it? The experts have told us that there is a new breed of human

being out there who no longer wants to be marketed to. She pays no attention

to ads. She is immune to the "interruption model" and we need to get her

"permission" to market to her.

Not so fast, says David Michaelson Co., a New York-based company that

studies measurement of communications effectiveness,and has compared the

effect of publicity with traditional advertising in a controlled experiment. He

and a co-author presented research subjects with a faked ad for an invented

product, and a faked newspaper article about the same product. On a scale of 1

to 10, the article was a 10 "from the standpoint of a publicist's dream article,"

Dr. Michaelson says. Yet their study showed that the article was no more

effective than the ad in building brand awareness. Now here's something to

think about. I have no idea of the validity of this study. But if it's true that

people are not terribly moved by "buzz" in reputable media like newspapers,

how much power do you think buzz has in dopey social media like blogs, and

Twitter and Facebook?

Maybe buzz is exactly what it sounds like -- just a lot of mouths yapping.

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