I received an email from a professor using our book to explain the differences between buzz marketing, stealth marketing, viral marketing, and guerrilla marketing. If your students are having difficulty, this reply may help.

The goal of buzz marketing (WofM) is to generate buzz or conversations about a brand. This can occur through a blog, emails, at a party, or numerous other ways. While the ideal is people talking about a brand because they really love it, buzz marketing by firms is through brand ambassadors. They are compensated in some way to generate buzz about the brand (blog, email, block party, etc). They are supposed to identify that they are being sponsored by the brand or compensated in some way. The goal of stealth marketing is the same, but ambassadors keep their identities secret and they hide the fact they are being paid or sponsored by a brand. The idea is that the recommendation is then more genuine, believable. Some consider it unethical, others do not.
Brands know wofm recommendations carry far more weight than advertising and marketing or anything a brand can do. The ultimate goal is for a video or some other digital activity to go viral; that is to be spread to hundreds of thousands or millions of people. People pass it on because they think it is neat, novel, unique, funny, etc. It is like a wildfire out of control. While brands strive to produce videos or interesting games that attract attention, it is rare they go viral. While a buzz marketing campaign or stealth marketing campaign could go viral, it is unlikely. To reach the high volume of people, viral requires a digital footprint.
Guerrilla marketing is using non-traditional and unconventional methods to attract attention. The goal is to generate buzz or excitement about the brand. It can be some unique feature, like a walking mummy on a street or a sign on a bridge. The goal is to attract attention then expose them to the brand. The hope is that the individuals will immediately get on their cell phones and tell others they have to come and see this. It is so unique, strange, and bizarre. Thus, buzz is generated. While digital may be the result, guerrilla marketing does not begin with digital.

About Dr. Donald Baack

Co-author of textbook.

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