Word of mouth is no longer just about words

One fine day while browsing at a bookstore I stumbled upon this rather intriguingly titled book “The Anatomy of Buzz“. I acted on my hunch, picked this book up and started reading it’s blurb. Half way into the blurb I realized I should buy this book and I did. “The Anatomy of Buzz” is a book about “Buzz aka Word of mouth” and it’s undoubtedly one of the finest books on the subject. A couple of months back Emanuel Rosen, author of the book, released “The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited”, with lots of new content and case studies focused around online buzz. I so liked the book(first one) that not only did I decide to buy the new one but also to Interview the author of the book for all of us. Here’s the interview, as it is. Thanks Emanuel for sparing your time to answer these questions for us.

Mayank: Why a book on Buzz ?
Emanuel: A lot of our decisions on what to read, watch and buy are influenced by buzz. There are thousands of books about advertising, but only a few about word of mouth marketing and buzz. It’s important for marketers to learn about how they can stimulate customers to spread the word.

Mayank: How has “Word of Mouth” changed since you wrote your first book (back in 2000)?
Emanuel: The basics have not changed, but now word of mouth is no longer just about words. We have many more opportunities to show our friends the products we like and not only to tell them about these brands. This is done on Facebook, flickr, Myspac, YouTube, and other forums.

Mayank: How are online and offline “Word of Mouth” related ?
Emanuel: They are both part of what I call “buzz” which I define as all the person to person communication about a brand. Most of this communication still happens the old fashion way–in face to face conversation. But online buzz is still very important because it accelerates the process.

Mayank: How did you try to build buzz for your first book and what all are you doing(plan to do) to build buzz for your new book ?
Emanuel: To promote my first book, Doubleday sent advance copies to over 2000 people, and it worked very well. The seeding for the new edition was more modest because we could afford to send the book to only about 300 people, but it’s working pretty well. I’m also running a unique book tour on a bus powered by recycled vegetable oil. This bus is mentioned in the first chapter of my new book, and it is being used by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) to promote their organization and alternative energy. You can read about the tour on my blog at http://anatomyofbuzz.blogspot.com/

Mayank: Are you working with a team/organization for spreading the word about  your new book or you are doing it all by yourself ?
Emanuel: There’s a team at Doubleday that helps and provides resources and I do a lot by myself.

Mayank:
Are you just relying on “Word of Mouth” or do you plan to advertise the  book too ?
Emanuel: I’m a great believer in advertising as a supplement to buzz. Sometimes you have the budget to do it, and sometimes you don’t. My publisher advertised the first edition in the Wall Street Journal and New York
Times. The new edition may be advertised in smaller trade publications and online.

Mayank: How are you measuring Buzz for your new book / How can one measure Buzz(online and offline) ?
Emanuel: There are tools such as Scoutlabs.com that allow you to measure online buzz. You can also search Twitter, blogs etc. separately. We’ve made a lot of progress in this area and I added a chapter to the new edition
on measuring buzz. I also talk to many readers face to face before and after my lectures

Mayank: How has been your experience with Twitter and Blogs ? Are you using  other tools too ?
Emanuel: Of course. I use both Twitter (@EmanuelRosen) and a blog to let people know what’s new. I also regularly search these tools to hear the buzz about the book.

Mayank: Where do you see Buzz(online and offline) in the next 5-10 years ?
Emanuel: Online buzz will increase as more people on this planet get better access to the Internet, but face to face will still be the dominant form of buzz.

Mayank: Do you plan to write another book on Buzz ?
Emanuel: I think I will.

You can read more about the author and the book here and here . Hope you all liked the interview

“The Anatomy of Buzz” is one of the books I recommend everyone to read.Here’s the list of  other books I recommend.

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