BzzAgent Launches Hispanic Word of Mouth Channel

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Word of Mouth Marketing firm, BzzAgent Inc., has announce the launch of the "Hispanic BzzChannel," a new destination within BzzAgent dedicated to the US-based Hispanic Community. This channel will provide members with the opportunity to generate buzz about specially-selected products and services while providing marketers the ability to build brand evangelism within the Hispanic community. This site will be bilingual, with all content available in both English and Spanish. It can be viewed at http://hispanic.bzzagent.com.

by Steve Hall    Jul-12-05   Click to Comment   
Topic: Word of Mouth   

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Comments



Comments

Love the BzzAgent idea and I think is the the right move for the company. Latinos as well as other ethnic minorities are hard to reach using traditional media. Word of mouth works very well on ethnic communities.

Posted by: Mark Vera on July 12, 2005 10:00 PM

From the WOMMA website:
"Word of mouth can't be faked or invented. Attempting to fake word of mouth is unethical and creates a backlash, damages the brand, and tarnishes the corporate reputation. Legitimate word of mouth marketing acknowledges consumers’ intelligence -- it never attempts to fool them. Ethical marketers reject all tactics related to manipulation, deception, infiltration, or dishonesty."

From the BzzAgent website (msg from a top10 agent):
As I got good, I began to appreciate the impact that I was having in shaping the buying habits of the people around me. The prizes are nice — I've been happily rewarded — but the noticeable influence on the purchases of family, friends, and colleagues is the real reason that I enjoy bee-ing a Bzzagent.

From the mouth of BzzAgent:
BzzAgents are given a list of BzzActivities to help spread Word-of-Mouth Bzz in every BzzGuide. These activities make it easier and more fun for them to spread Bzz.


If only WOM marketers would be honest with themselves. The truth is that regardless of how the influencer actually feels about the product/service being buzzed, WOM is all about manipulation and infiltration. When a praised "top10" BzzAgent, or trained manipulator as it appears, admits to participating in the program because it gives them a power high u have to wonder... that quote reeks of copy anyway.

The most unethical business practice is to lie about your ethical practices.

Posted by: anon on July 13, 2005 12:57 AM

So what makes Hispanic word of mouth so different, does everything just start with "Hey Esssaay, check this out..."? Because, basically, it is segregation. I hate how we're trying to create one cohesive society and yet marketers want to keep us as seperate 'ethnicities.' Yes, it's easier to exploit each 'ethnicities' cultural touchpoints, but why not find a core truth that resonates across all people, rather than just divide us up? Just irks me.

Posted by: Hassan on July 14, 2005 7:12 AM

"Yes, it's easier to exploit each 'ethnicities' cultural touchpoints, but why not find a core truth that resonates across all people..."

You've already answered your own question.

Anyway, "making one cohesive society," at least as most people think of it now, is a fool's errand.

Ideally, recognizing specific cultural groups only "seperates" groups by noting differences in the cultures � there is no attempt to assign groups to any hierarchy or to physically prevent inter-group contact.

To see segregation, look at Jim Crow. To see a cohesive society, find a place where specific groups co-exist. To find a core truth? Beats me. Maybe it's just that there is none.

Posted by: Von K on July 14, 2005 2:13 PM

Speaking from a Canadian viewpoint, it's almost impossible to spread word of mouth if the language or cultural context is wrong. Most campaigns in English Canada have little relevance in French Quebec and vice-versa. Word of mouth works because it's sensitive to and reflects consumer ways they like to receive their info and insight. Bzz Agent is smart for recognizing this in ethnicities and not trying to wedge everything into a "melting pot" approach. Bonne chance!

Posted by: Sean Moffitt on July 14, 2005 3:59 PM

I thought this point of view on the Buzz Agent campaign was very interesting. People dont think about this kind of stuff:

http://latin-know.typepad.com/latin_know_the_latino_mar/2005/07/wom_marketing_a.html

Posted by: Rafael Vega on July 14, 2005 5:13 PM

Hi!

My name is Vanesa and I am the Director of the Hispanic BzzChanel. I am Latina and Spanish is my first language.

In BzzAgent, we celebrate the diversity and embrace what makes each group unique and special. The Hispanic BzzChannel was created so brands can tailor their messages better to the Hispanic community. Everybody reacts better when they see a message that is tailor-made to their experiences, knowledge and beliefs. People in the Hispanic Community might be interested in different products or services. Some speak limited English and are more comfortable reading in Spanish. We took all these into consideration when creating a channel targeting this population.

I want to thank everybody for their input. We take all opinions into consideration. Our objective is to make the best word of mouth channel possible for the Latino Community.

If you want to contact me directly, please write to vguerra@bzzagent.com

¡Muchas gracias!
Vanesa Kolodziej-Guerra

Posted by: Vanesa Kolodziej-Guerra on July 14, 2005 5:46 PM

Hi, this is Keith from BzzAgent. I agree with Von Kon - cultures tend to overlap with opinion and beliefs at times, but every culture has things that don't resonate with everyone else. I know it's not a perfect comparison, but think about idioms that don't translate well into other languages. Hassan, I think that you make a very interesting point about not categorizing people, but I don't think the world is there just yet, unfortunately: the WNBA isn't sports, it's women's sports, for instance.

I think the idea of the Hispanic Channel is a really good one. Hispanics and Latinos already rely strongly on WOM - this would just be an extension of that. Speaking as a Chinese-American, I think it can be incredibly difficult to reach some minorities, even when you have a great product that would be appreciated. Sometimes it's bitterness and being jaded about being (or feeling like you're being) marginalized. Sometimes it's the cultural and language barriers that muddle up things. Sometimes it's that minorities (perhaps more specifically, immigrants) tend to settle together in ethinic enclaves (Chinatown is NYC is a perfect example) and don't venture out of them much because they feel more comfortable being able to shop/eat/live in an area where they don't have to face the difficulty of dealing with English, an incredibly intimidating, non-sensical and confusing language and script.

I think that any way you can honestly and respectfully reach out to someone and let them know about things they might like is a good thing. As Vanesa said, BzzAgent is always happy to receive feedback - positive and negative. If Hispanic Agents like or don't like some things about the website or Channel, their opinions will weigh heavily in the shaping of the Hispanic Channel.

Posted by: Keith on July 15, 2005 10:51 AM







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