So, I’m a BzzAgent now.
Or whatever the Hell euphemism they have for “fully-disclosed shill”. ;-)
I’ll be honest, ever since that New York Times Magazine article a few years back, I’ve been skeptical of BzzAgent. If your product or service were really that great, you’d get folks talking and blogging and recommending you by default.
That’s the point of the Church of the Customer (of which I’m a fan). Why force things by putting a media buy or a coordinated effort behind it? Why mobilize some third-party when you could be building your own home-grown network? Why not put your money with your current customers (or email list or affiliate program) instead of BzzAgent?
In our case, we’d want to drive sampling of our current roster of shows and any new shows. But we could accomplish a similar effect (I think) via an embedded video player, better messaging to current fans and an online media buy (I’m loving Facebook’s sponsored links at the moment).
But not everyone has a list.
Or experience in talking to/with consumers instead of talking at them.
So I guess if you want to buy into someone’s canned, walled-garden network, you could do worse than BzzAgent.
They’re a leader in their industry.
Me? I think I’ll participate a little bit, but I’m dubious of the effects I’ll have for the products/services/advertisers that want their message in my hands (and not their own).
I have a blog/MySpace/Twitter/Flickr/del.icio.us/Digg account. Hit me up that way.
I suppose it could be good for offline Word Of Mouth (which is, statistically, MUCH more WOM than online), but for the Web 2.0 set it might not work.
- Technorati search on BzzAgent
- Brand Autopsy’s take (a little old, but still valid).
- BzzAgent Blog
- BzzAgent FrogPond (a place for BzzAgents to review websites)
So, yeah, BzzAgent.
I think your organization (and ours) is better served doing this alone. Just be creative and wonderful and useful to the people who buy your product or watch your show.
That said, I think that someone here may work with them in the future. I’ll share what I can when I can.
UPDATE: For the curious, here are BzzAgent’s top four rules/learnings:
- Don’t sacrifice your brand for entertainment.
- The consumer will do what they want with your brand.
- Buzz doesn’t always equal word of mouth.
- Don’t lie, steal, cheat or deceive.
I gotta say I agree wholeheartedly with all four points.