Why is it important to stay three steps ahead of early buzz? Because every conversation -- every review, every post, every love letter or nasty-gram -- is material to your marketing strategy. No one needs to send that memo to Apple computer, which continues to ride an unprecedented wave of pre-launch buzz/CGM around the iPhone. Take a look at this morning's Apple.com startpage. The centerpiece of the page is a list of all the positive reviews the brand has received around the iPhone -- from David Pogue of the New York Times, Walter Mosberg of the Wall Street Journal, USA Today's Edward Baig, and others. Put simple, the brand is exploiting early buzz to drive further momentum. Importantly, all of these media "influencers" have a material impact of broader conversation by other bloggers, and we're seeing an unprecedented number of links by top bloggers to these early reviews. Key takeway: always stay close to the pulse of early feedback. If it's working for you, don't hide it!
Apple and the Website: The other key point here is the extent to which Apple makes effective use of it's website. If you carefully analyze Apple's buzz going as far back as the iPod and Video iPod, you'll note that the brand website has been a powerful ally in providing 'social currency" to buzz-makers and CGM creators. Put another way, the site gets a huge number of links from bloggers, forum operators, and others. Moreover, the relevant content is always easy to find, easy to share, and often prominently featured during ideal time periods -- e.g. the start page featuring positive reviews. Key Takeaway: Marketers still have control, and your brand website, if executed smartly, can be your best ally.
Want a Bigger Bite of the Apple? Later today, I'm co-hosting a webinar entitled "iPhone Mania: Sales Leading Indicator or Evangelistic Hype?." Starts at 12:30 PM today EST. Sign up here.