More on Buzz and Beta

by Marianne Richmond on January 10, 2006

Justice for buzzwords? There is a special place reserved for them according to Rich Ottum at The eStrategyOne Buzz . At the top of the "recently condemned" list is the word, beta which is on the condemned list according to Buzzword Hell because it is frequently misused as an excuse for product shortcomings, bugs or for products that will never work.

Beta is also frequently used as part of new product marketing, to create buzz or word of mouth.  I have written about this before, maybe it was a beta post for a discussion about how beta creates buzz, then achieves buzzword status only to find itself condemned to buzzword hell. Actually, in my opinion, buzzword hell is just part of the buzz lifecycle. Buzzwords go to the graveyard when the buzz is over. They can go to buzzword heaven or they can go to buzzword hell. And if the buzz was about an exceptional experience, then positive word of mouth will continue to build and sustain the product or service even if hearing the buzzword makes you cringe.

In a sense, the buzz of passionate, evangelistic users surrounding an exceptional new product is the beta stage of a well executed word of mouth marketing campaign. The Ajaxian discusses the importance of a good beta in the same terms as one might discuss the importance of a truly great product that meets/exceeds the needs of its target and captures the hearts and minds of those able and willing to spread the word as the foundation of a successful word of mouth marketing campaign.

There are many interesting discussions in the blogosphere about what is real buzz marketing as opposed to stealth marketing and what is "good" word of mouth marketing. There are many discussions about what makes a good beta. They are similar discussions. Think Web 2.0…it’s a beta, it’s got buzz, it makes us cringe, it lives and grows.

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