I’m an engineer and web developer by trade so I don’t know why I’ve been reading so many marketing books lately. I just am so leave me alone. I have to say this was one of the better marketing books. I literally blew through this 256 page book in 1 day over vacation. It was a fast read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m a pragmatic guy, and I like books that are filled with actionable advice. Highly opinionated books that spout highfalutin theories and concepts don’t go well with me.

“Buzzmarketing: Get People to Talk About Your Stuff” By Mark Hughes is a quick dive into how some well known brands (and some not so well known ones) used word of mouth to create successful campaigns and gain market share. The premise of the book is that traditional marketing methods yield traditional and average results. Word of mouth can be 10 times more effective than TV or print.

Half.com is given lots of coverage. In case you missed the hoopla that was the Internet bubble, Half.com got the town of Halfway Oregon to rename their town to Half.com for a year in exchange for about $100,000 worth of economic funds, computers, and website development. For that they got major media coverage from the likes of Good Morning America, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, South China News, radio and TV stations. The buzz associated with that PR stunt resulted in 8 million users in 3 years as well as the eBay buyout for $300 million within 6 months.
Other equally exciting stories include Miller Lite, American Idol, and Apple.

I don’t want to give away too much of the book, but to summarize: you need to press the 6 Buttons that Start Conversations:

  • Taboo
  • Unusual
  • Outrageous
  • Hilarious
  • Remarkable
  • Secret

One good point he makes is that you should create content, not ads. People on the web already know this. People go to blogs for good content, not for the ads. 6 times as many people read articles over ads – the point should be obvious by now. This is such a short book, to give away anymore would be a disservice to the author. You should just go get it on Amazon. Better yet – get it at Half.com.

If you like this sort of book, I would also recommend these other books I’ve read:

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