September 14, 2007

News & Opinion: Bzzz...

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 1:54 PM – Filed under: Marketing & Sales

Last night Jon and I listened to a speech from Malcolm Faulds of BzzAgent -- the company founded by Dave Balter, author of Grapevine. I'm still fascinated by what BzzAgent is doing. Dave created BzzAgent to harness the power of word-of-mouth. Both the agents and the marketers benefit from it. The marketers have The agents get to try the latest and greatest products and tell their friends about them. The company assumes that, on average, every agent will tell 12 people about the product/service; those 12 people then turn around and tell four other folks. Back in 2005 there were 75,000 BzzAgents. Malcolm said they're up to 310,000 now. The price varies by project. An estimate for a 10-week project with 1,000 agents that includes shipping is $70,000. I wish I was a better BzzAgent. Then, perhaps, I would have had a shot at trying out a new car:
When the new VW Passats were unveiled, BzzAgent worked with VW dealers to arrange a 48-hour test drive for a handful of agents. Of the original 6302 agents invited to participate, 1167 scheduled test drives and 1071 completed a test drive. In the end, 375 Passats were sold/leased.
What I always find interesting is how other ideas (often found in books) are implemented in strategies. For example, BzzAgent uses Reichheld's NPS. And for phone polling they work with Jonathan and Edward's company. Oh, and if you're looking for WOM books, see BzzAgent's Resources.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.