by: Lynette Webb (with Dan Calladine)

Click image to enlargeIn 2006 the "long tail" concept seemed to pop up at every turn. In 2007 we think a similar buzz will be felt in marketing circles around the concept of Amplification. In a nutshell, amplification is about tapping into the power of word of mouth.

Tell your story - or parts thereof - in an inspirational way to a select few, and then leave it to them to flesh the experience out and share it with a broader audience. In today's digital world, not only are there more ways for such conversations to be sparked, the conversations are everlasting, living online and accessible via search.

The most interesting stories are already getting into the mass media through natural selection - you only have to think of the mass media picking up on shocking and news-worthy videos on YouTube - and user generated content's influence on the news agenda will rise.

POINTS FOR MARKETERS:

**** Monitoring the online buzz about your products - and those of your competitors - is like radar for airplanes (to paraphrase CMO of Nielsen Buzzmetrics). You can fly without it, but it's kinda stupid not to take advantage of the advance warning it provides. There are a myriad of different solutions out there to suit all budgets, and varying depending on the level of analysis you want. In 2007 any brand serious about building relationships with its consumers should invest in listening to what they say. Consumers are already talking about brands online - brands need to know what is being said and how to react to both positives and negatives.

**** Don't underestimate your audience. Sometimes spoon-feeding the entire story won't get you as far as leaving blanks for others to fill in and figure out… As was recently pointed out by Henry Jenkins (author of Convergence Culture): "The key is to produce something that both pulls people together and gives them something to do. In that regard, the book may have had greater impact on the discussions of branding because I didn't fill in all of the links … leaving the blogosphere something to puzzle through together.”

**** Interesting stunts and events get blogged, and can achieve far greater audience through this amplification than would have been possible before. Create showcases around brands (like the 'Will it Blend? films for Blendtec), but by the same token bad news will spread even faster.

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This is part of a series of predictions for 2007 developments, prepared jointly with my colleague, Dan Calladine, for Isobar Global. Opinions are ours personally and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Isobar group.

Kudos to Sarah Fay for first mentioning the buzziness around “Amplification” to me
Image CC www.flickr.com/photos/fredarmitage/48405833/ thanks to Fred Armitage 

Original Post: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lynetter/327418125/

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