Why do I call this interview exclusive? Well, to sit down an Sunday for a couple of hours with one of the best and smartest people in the Word-of-Mouth Marketing field in the world, does feel exclusive. Emanuel Rosen is the author of The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited: Real-life lessons in Word-of-Mouth Marketing. His here in Sweden for the book tour.
Emanuel is an down to earth person and does not give the online world to much importance. For instance, when I get a bit to exited about the digital world, he stops me and says: Stefan, look around you what do you see? Do you see anything digital? I do look around in the hotel lobby and realize his point. He continues, we talk about the online world but still we live in the offline word, which has enormous impact in our day to day life. In the future will the online world become bigger (new technology will be everywhere). But still today the physical world we have around us are much bigger and importance for how we build buzz. As he elegant pointed it out: “The big question is how to build in technology into old structures.” His ending it with the physical world is strong but the digital connection is extremely important for creating buzz.
After this we start talking about why people talk about things. It gives them status in the tribes they are living in. When I ask why some are buzzing more than others, Emanuel pointed out that some are hubs (I call them radios), hubs send their message to a many people around them. There is two kinds of hubs: Experts- and socialhubs. The experts want higher status by being known for being an expert. The socialhub person see it as an way to connect to others. It is also a way to make us be unique (stand out from the crowd). When everyone knows about something there is now value to buzz about it. It will not make you stand out from the crowd to say what everyone already knows. Like saying that McDonald’s sells hamburgers, everyone knows that. In other words to get hubs buzzing you have to confirm and strengthen their identity. Their currency is information and if they are believed, people will listen to them, but if they are loosing their credibility by being speaking in favor for a corporation people will turn away from them. A word he uses often is relevant. Every-part of the story, corporation, hubs etc must be relevant for everyone ore else it will be irrelevant to talk about. In my inter-pretending find a radio channel that both the sender and receiver are willing to listen to. There is an limit into what we believe but if we believe it will give us social values talking about it then we are wiling to buzz about it.
This is also the reason for why open innovation is so successful, people believe in products, services and brands they are a port of. The creativity dimension is on of the strongest ways of building buzz. If consumers are being involved in the creating of a solution they will be enormous engage in it and then more willing to spread the word. But Emanuel is also highlighting the risk in listening to much in the most engage consumers, they do often want extreme performance. I do ask him if he means that they like to have sport cars? Yes, more ore less you could say that and the normal family person how is buying your cars often needs a family car.
Here is some of Emanuel Rosen best points:
Involvement is key to build buzz.
Anytime you led your costumers to develop anything, they will spread it!
Creativity is a mayor driver of buzz.
Buzz still has to do with geography.
How buzz worthy something is… (he explain when Apple and 3M was introducing their new product it had an WOW factor worth talking about).
We did have an long discussion if ore not our need to connect is based on our survival instinct. I was bringing the question up and he did agree in some parts but I know I was fare out and a lot into human psychology in that question. But Emanuel is humble and tap into the point and agreed on that could be the fact in some levels.
I suggest in the end of the interview that he should write an new book: How to build internal Buzz: Drive corporate passion with word of mouth. We do talk about that fore a while but I could not persuade him to write the book (yet). I would love to read it and I think that part of buzz is missing in a lot in big corporations, they talk about building brands but internal does not any brand exist. Which is an bad idea on a transparent marketer, when the employes can go home an spread buzz online and offline about “the real facts of their product and services.”
It was really great to talk with an words-class thinker and developer of word of mouth. I do hope that reality is faster in catching on what Emanuel Rosen are saying so next time we meet people can both talk and walk hand in hand with corporations.
The day after we meet he did hold an lecturer in Stockholm and today his holding an lecture in Istanbul, I do recommend you to check out his book tour so you don’t miss his inspiring lectures.