We all know what Gossip means; more often than not it is taken in a very negative sense. But Marketers think otherwise. For them the more the gossip generated about their product/service, the better it is for the company. This is known as Gossip Marketing.
Today, gossip takes place not only via Word – of – Mouth but also using the internet as a medium for discussions (there is the social media, blogs discussion pages and lot’s more). The new age customer has become tech savvy and meeting up to discuss (read gossip) is not an element of compulsion anymore.
Consumers are creating and participating in feedback websites to express their opinions about a product or service they may like or dislike.
The value of consumer feedback websites is increasing for both consumers and marketers. It’s great because as consumers gossip, marketers will have a database of online information through feedback websites.
Customers are knowingly or unknowingly participating in Gossip Marketing and have not yet realized the impact of the words used during the process. This is one strategy which is more evident in mobile phones/or any new gadget in the market for that matter. Companies will typically start by advertising a snippet on the television; again not revealing all the features of the product; thereby creating speculations and then it is followed by gossip!
Take the Pantene ad campaign for instance – they had recently come up with the advertisement on “guess the mystery shampoo?”. It was followed by a lot of speculations and a lot of word – of – mouth publicity ( typically amongst ladies, therefore read as gossip again!). But proactive as Dove is, it came up with another ad campaign ( before Pantene could unveil itself as being the mystery shampoo) which said the “ there is no mystery about it”, “Dove is the world’s no. 1 shampoo”.
Thereby leading to the conclusion that even a healthy rivalry between two companies and brands can create gossip, which can do great for one company but blunders for the other. But still companies invest a lot in this style of marketing as most of these big brands believe in high risk – high return strategy.
So now the question is? How safe is this gossip marketing? For most of us, gossip marketing can be a reliable tool if it comes from the right channel ( people you know or experts in that field); For others, well they can be mere followers of what random people think about a particular product or service. Whatever be the scenario, it definitely is a cost effective publicity tool for any company.
When done right, gossip is the smartest and most powerful way to market yourself both online and off. So don’t hold back, go ahead and gossip!
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