Earlier this week I had the chance to participate in BuzzAgent’s first "MBA" program designed as an education course for Agency folks on how to work with BuzzAgent. This is another step in BuzzAgent’s evolution from a model that competes with agencies to one that embraces them. Agencies handle the creative and strategy, BuzzAgent works as a media partner to handle execution, logistics, tracking and analytics. This is a much stronger model that will allow them to realize more of the media spend from companies who rely on agencies to help them distribute these dollars. This was a fact that BuzzAgent understands well, as a significant part of the day was spend identifying Word of Mouth marketing as "another media channel" that media planners should allocate marketing spend towards. The most interesting takeaway from the day is how BuzzAgent is taking something as varied as the way people converse with one another, and applying a formula and metric to it that any marketing client would love. They are pioneering a way to measure the unmeasurable – and inaccuracies aside (the day revealed that perhaps less than 50% of BzzAgent’s activity is actually recorded), this is a big deal. From a media planning point of view, I can now "sell" a client 10,000 real people who will try out their product, talk about it, and report back on what they said. Money may not be able to buy love, but BuzzAgent shows it can certainly buy more than just an impression or click. Though this may be fleeting (a point that my table-mate Jennifer Goff from Brains on Fire explores well in her blog post), it is easy to see the benefit for clients who want to have that "instant gratifcation." It is no wonder BuzzAgent has had exponential growth over the last three years and a rapidly expanding client list.
So now that I have my BzzAgent MBA in hand (through the form of a custom painting from Seth Minkin), what will I do with this new black belt of buzz? In a great example of practicing what they preach, the folks over at BuzzAgent clearly had a smart strategy when putting this day long training together. Not only to illustrate the value of working with BuzzAgent to agency folks who do media planning, but also to give them the BzzStories to take back to their agencies, and write about on blogs like this one. To that end, I think the session (and others that they run) will be a huge success for them and a model that other companies that are vendors selling to media planners should consider. From the diploma/paintings, to the Bee cookies for the office – the day was about planting a seed with individuals with agencies and helping them to take that seed back to their teams. As a result, I know have a deeper relationship with BuzzAgent than most of the vendors I work with. I am even a BzzAgent myself. With that kind of brand involvement on both a professional and private level, it’s easy to imagine that I will think of BuzzAgent first for appropriate client campaigns and be more knowledgeable about including BzzCampaigns as a core part of interactive marketing strategy. In terms of follow up effect, I already mentioned the BuzzAgent MBA at a talk I gave yesterday to community market press folks at the American Press Institute. Dave, consider this blog post my BzzReport …
PS – For all those BzzAgents out there, I met BzzAgent Jono. And he is real.
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