Today, advertising a new product is totally different than it was 10 years ago. For years, consumers have been flooded by TV, radio, newspaper ads, posters and fliers and more recently, internet spam, pop ups, banners, etc. The frequency of advertising is so high that most consumers often do not pay attention any more to its contents. They just go to the toilets when there is TV spot, throw the fliers or commercial letters away without even reading it and get very angry when pop ups appear when they are trying to check their emails. They often feel attacked by advertising and they often attempt to avoid any kind of advertising.
These new trends make the traditional methods of advertising less efficient and even damaging for the image of a product. Marketers are now trying to develop new ways of advertising, less intrusive and more discreet, but very efficient. On the Internet, a good example is the considerable development of the sponsored links on the search engines like Google or Yahoo! that are often seen as regular results of a search although they are sponsored to be at the top of results. Their relevancy to the search is high and so people often see these results as a potential help more than an intrusive and aggressive form of advertising. Another example of this new trend of advertising, word of mouth, is very interesting to study and the logic is the following: we can not trust traditional advertising as we know it always deceive us. So why am I going to buy a new product more than another? Because a friend of mine advised me. He or she is reliable, likes what I like and has really tested the product and knows what he or she is talking about. Marketers start paying attention to those media whose impact on consumers is often underestimated.
These new trends in marketing make one feel that the way marketers communicate about a product has to be totally different; more and more people are fed up with first degree, boring, informative and intrusive advertising. The creation and transmission of rumours about a product could be another alternative to traditional advertising. The term ¡§rumour¡¨ generally has a negative connotation and can be seen as slanderous information about a product or information that is not reliable. Companies typically want to destroy or stifle rumours because they assume that rumours are potentially dangerous and not controllable. However, rumours can be useful communication vectors for companies when they want to advertise a product. Some rumours are spread because people are anxious and generally this kind of rumour has negative contents from the point of view of the company. But people also spread a rumour because its content is fun, original, secret or surprising. It does not deliver direct information about the product, but it induces people to talk about the product or the company and encourages people to know more about the product. Well managed, it could have a huge power and have a significant impact on a market with quite a low cost.
But spreading such rumours can be problematic; for example, which media will be used? Press releases? Oral statements? To answer that question: we should answer the following one: who are the people that spread rumours? We might find them among brand communities. In fact, brand communities began to proliferate along with the growth of the Internet. Many online blogs and website are now dedicated to brands. People exchange information about products, brands, and product/brand image. In fact, the Internet has this extraordinary characteristic: it is able to gather people from all around the world, from different backgrounds and offer them a virtual space where they can communicate easily around a common topic. Internet is now a major media to reach people, including influential opinion leaders. Nowadays, many rumours have first appeared on the Internet and have subsequently spread in other contexts. That is why this thesis will focus on that media only.
[...] In a posting on Google's blog, Tom Oliveri, a product marketing manager at Google, wrote that Google is indeed testing a new way for content owners to submit their content to Google. He writes that Google will release more details when there's more news. The post runs under the headline "Rumor of the day." A service like Google Base might make sense in Google's overall plan, though it's hard to know with just the bare details that are available so far, said Joe Wilcox, senior analyst at Jupiter Research. [...]
[...] Elaborate a methodology and guidelines for using rumour as a marketing tool Define the legal and ethical limits of the use of rumour as a marketing tool A first part will be dedicated to differentiate rumours from word of mouth and other similar concepts. In fact, all these concepts have a different nature and therefore can 6 play different roles in a new marketing mix. The study will be focused on rumours only. It is interesting to consider the advantages and risks of using rumours as a formal marketing strategy. [...]
[...] I have a long list of complaints about RC (can you believe that they sent me empty filter boxes with no filter inside!) and I will post them on photo.net so as not to bog down this NG with tales of my bad experiences. Mircrosoft. What truth is it there in Microsoft being forced to liberate Windows 98/Millenium source code and developing Office for Linux just to not have to split among several companies ? I know this is a little off-topic, but know too that many persons in here follow Microsoft issues from very close. [...]
[...] As Kimmel (2006), of the most important requirements of the ethical marketer is the ability to recognize and anticipate these ethical issues prior to the development of marketing strategy.” To be prepared to such a situation, marketers should anticipate the crisis and be able to fight against it The aim is to maintain a maximum of distance between the company and the rumours in order to prevent that the company image is damaged. Conclusion As Muñiz and O'Guinn (2005) said: “Conventional marketing is dying, mass marketing is dead”. [...]
[...] As we want to use them as marketing tools, it is evident that some of the rumours we will present, will be premeditated. They can also emerge naturally even if certain circumstances are more favourable to their appearance Understanding the transmission of a positive rumour Functional approach According to the functional approach, a rumour is likely to spread if it is important and ambiguous (Allport & Postman, 1947). Prasad (1935) added a third factor, anxiety. Even if this formula has been made up during war times, after earthquake or murders, it can be applied to positive rumours to a certain extent. [...]
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