The Big Questions

October 20th, 2006 by sethertonb

With 455,000 BzzReports and 69 million question responses stashed away in our database, there’s always a new discovery to make — it’s my heaven. There are several key questions, though, that we’re always asking ourselves. Are certain products more Bzzable than others? If we take out part of a BzzCampaign, or add something new, what does it do to the word-of-mouth? To BzzAgents’ response to the product? To the client’s impression of the results? To our own impression of the results? What about summer vs. winter, or Agents who are in more than one Campaign, or BzzKits that take longer to ship? (The list goes on.)

We’ve already answered all of these questions, and we’re satisfied with our answers, but oddly enough, we keep asking them anyways. Take the chart below, for instance. Each point represents a Campaign we’ve run (a yellow point just means that it’s labeled). Think of it this way: Campaigns futher to the right had a greater quantity of Agent activity, while Campaigns further towards the top had greater quality of Agent activity. So, you could get all the way to the right with tons of Agents in your Campaign, but you can only get to the top if each Agent submitted lots of BzzReports.

Campaign Success - Click me

Click image to enlarge

Firstly, let’s just mention Ralph Cool (a perfume Campaign we ran in 2004), way on the top of the chart. A popular product with wide appeal; a BzzKit with both the product and plentiful samples to hand out; the right group of Agents — it was a perfect storm of Bzz. Moving on, though, there’s a clear trend on the bottom left of the chart, where Campaigns that had more BzzReports overall also had Agents who each filed more Reports. As we look to the right, though, there are some Campaigns had so many Reports largely because they had more Agents involved.

But what represents a successful Campaign? That is, if we could move all our Campaigns into a certain area on this chart in the future, what would that be? Exactly which areas of this chart indicate successes for our clients, which indicate successes for us, and where do those overlap? Everyone’s qualified to answer, but there’s always an exception or a new perspective or a new question. And so, we keep asking…

The Big Questions

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90 Responses to “The Big Questions”

misanthropoid Says:

Big quest ions lead to small ones. Would an individualized version of this chart improve agent performance if, say, it could be generated as a part of each bzzhistory page. Could it compare the agent’s current campaign performance to their past, or to the averages or to the top 25%?

And why are all those IT people making obscene gestures at their monitors as they read this?

Hatvany Says:

I think that this is a wondeful idea. It would give the individual agents a idea on how they are doing with their campaigns. That would be a great incentive for us

MDeNovi Says:

I think it s a great idea would be different

harleydavidson Says:

I think its very imaginative a lot of thought put into this,very different in its own way,most likely will get good results on how there campaigns are progressing.

jss831 Says:

Each person to each product would find things interesting in different ways..so some of the more interesting and not limited to certain age groups will tend to do better, and be more fun because you can buzz to just about anyone, when It comes to smells it almost buzzs itself if someone likes it they just have to ask what it is ..There are some interesting buzz blasts I wish I was apart of listed up there…

de Says:

it is great to know the progress and how each buzz agent does during the campgain. sounds like a great idea.

Terry Says:

Just joined up! Am enjoying this already! Thanks!


I think it s a great idea.

pcat23 Says:

I’m all for it. I thinks its good to see performance. It encourages people to try harder

beeboo_13 Says:

I think that this is just so wonderful! Performance is so important, of course, and it will show us bzzagents how we are doing. I love bee-ing a bzzagent! :)

Sydnei Says:

I concur with pcat23. I’d be interested in seeing the volume of response for campaigns. I would also like to see other examples of feedback. There are times I make recommendations to friends just because something is too good not to pass along. Later I realize it would have been an ideal situation for a better bzzz. =)

bean Says:

U.S. bzz agents are always posting that theres a new bzzz…Cdn’s get very few… Invites to bzz campaigns are basically non existant….perhaps at my old age (40ish) I don’t spend enough money to be included in the demographics..it leads me to black ball that company. If i’m not good enough to bzzz I sure as sheet don’t buy the product after that…I deliberately go for the competitor. I personally work too hard for my money to support a company that feels I am not worthy to bzzz them….an excellent bzzz campaign would be one that involves EVERY SINGLE bzzz member , and not just the ones in a youthful category

Sunny88 Says:

I think you’re wrong there, bean. It’s probably more about sphere of influence … location surely is about market drivers and what the end client wants. And connectivity. And the target audience. Think for example (if you took the bars and clubs poll): if you drink and go to bars, you’re probably chatty Cathy. (Might be hard to rate or recall the buzz though, heh)

But I’d have a harder time buzzing about the latest pop culture fad than a product that fits my middle-age lifestyle or isn’t available for purchase where I live.

Wendy Says:

You tend to lose me when you show charts — I just hate them, the ideas are great, but people are just too busy looking at (and trying to figure out) the graph.

wallacla Says:

I find it to be very interesting. But it makes me wonder why, if a campaign was well liked, the average report per agetn would be as few as 2? I think I have had only one campaign for something I really didn’t like and I only did one report for that, but for things I like alot I do as amny as 8-10. So do you use that as a barometer for success at all?

canadianlady2003 Says:

I agree it does help us know how things are going with the bzz reports

Pareja7 Says:

To some extent I have to support Bean. I’m also 40ish and am not recruited for any campaigns which is an unfortunate assumption on the part of the marketer regarding my sphere of influence. There are many people my age with kids, mentor and teach the youth, and work passionately with community youth outreach projects etc. which makes us highly qualified “Direct Contact” influencers. If I had an “old fuddy duddy” mindset i wouldn’t even be interested in being a Bzz Agent. The other layer is that the generational distinctions are shifting. Grandparents are buying video games for themselves these days…as the baby Boomers get older chronologically, thier taste and interest are shifting to INCLUDE current youthful endeavors from music, techno gadgets, clothes, food, outdoor adventures and sports/fitness. These are very interesting times to Bzz. I’d like to not be excluded from participation because of my age. My age doesn’t dictate my taste or interest, I make those choices. Its a marketers responsibility to make better distinctions when it comes to determining one’s sphere of influence. Connect the dots.

sineadfan Says:

It is helpful and interesting to see how many reports were filed from a particular campaign. However, some products do have limited avialability. I recall having a hard time finding stores that stocked the South Beach products a few years back.

I know I filed more than 2 reports for Ralph Lauren blue as well. It would be interesting to know if the individual agent could get their own personalized stats.

mfishah Says:

for the record…

some of us havent reached 40 yet, but are fast approaching.
we dont want to be told that that is old. (its not!! isnt it the new 20s?!)
we might not have antigravity parts anymore,
but our word is gold.
we might only tell a few, but that goes far.

sasisash Says:

I also agree. this would really help with knowing how bzz reports are going!!!!

Judy Says:

I totally agree with Pareja7 and mfishah. I am older than either of them but I do not think older people should be excluded from so many campaigns. We have grandchildren and children and I think older people dress and act different than they did in other generations.

rose maggio Says:

I think it should never been an age thing….we are all individuals…..there are many 20 year olds that act 10 and many that don’t know the difference. More important is a state of mind.

Kryss Says:

Sometimes, bzz happens when a report is not filed… I know it is hard to gauge those, but maybe you could allow us to email bzz reports as well as use the form online…

lillian Says:

great news about our campaigns.

maddoats Says:

I think that the charts are a great research tool. It will show us which campaigns are more interesting and marketable.

rita Says:

i beleive that the charts are a great idea it helps everyone know their progress in the program also it great for use in a marketing reasearch tool knowing what campaigns are popular and more interesting to it’s consumers.

Siouxie Says:

The chart seems to reflect the type of product being campaigned - most of the ones on the left were targeted at men’s products - the ones to the right were targeted at anyone and the ones in the middle seem to be mainly edible items. Hmmm now I wonder if that has direct recourse on the quality/quantity of the Agents reports?

And on the age thingy - I am distinctly older (sigh) but have a young outlook on life, go to pubs, smoke, party, dance, read, meet up with friends, chatter, etc., etc. - or as my 24 year old son says, I am 52 going on 22 - and whilst I haven’t had a campaign yet I am on the Sonicare BzzBlast (and I live in Canada) so I think it’s more a case of getting your name pulled and responding in a timely fashion. It also helps to actually come to the Bzzz Agent site on a regular basis and check if there is anything on offer.

fanniemae Says:

Very good idea

Matthew Says:

Why use charts though, why not just emails or “blurbs” to explain where a campaign is. I have to agree with a previous poster….the dots are just too busy

Amy Says:

I’d love to have an idea how I’m doing in comparison with other agents. If I were to find out that most agents were reporting 3 or 4 times on a campaign and I had only done it once at that point then I would be encouraged to try a little harder to get the bzz out there. Incentive is always good for me!

sri Says:

I beleive that the charts are a very good idea it helps everyone know whats happening and I find it to be very interesting

rose maggio Says:

I think charts are great idea.

funia Says:

The chart helps to set a course for the next campaign

good2go Says:

The good news is… everyone is right! Charts work for some, and not others and that’s OK!
I think I’d like to see a comparitive chart on the bzz I’m reporting versus the bzz others are reporting. That way I’d know if I was on track.
Not to make it seem judgemental of course because we can only give it our best shot.
Or an idea chart when we get a brain freeze.
I haven’t been a bzz agent for very long, so I’m sorry if this has been said or done before.
The only concern I have is — you can’t have a predictable campaign… what if the client really needs to change something to get it right? Yet it wasn’t obvious until the bzz we delivered discovered it…. Now THAT would be success…Hmmmm?

Stella Says:

I think it is great to keep an eye on agents to make sure that they are qualified to bzz, but at the same time, how can you bzz something when you feel like you can’t be yourself because someone is “babysitting” you?


chettasmom Says:

I get lost walking through malls and reading roadmaps on a one lane road..and you expect me to understand a chart?
I’m getting a hotflash just thinking about it..

Ferd Burfle Says:

I wanna know why the guy in my office won’t wash his hands when he poops, and why he snaps his fingers after coming out of the restroom.

I also wanna know why the Indian dudes at work blow their noses in the sink, instead of using a Kleenex. Wuzzup wit dat?

Those are two BIG QUESTIONS!

chwspace Says:

I love bzzing, but some products leand themselves to more opportunities than others. The subject of campaigns where there were more reports, were great products that lend themselves to casual conversations.

I also wish there was a faster turn around time on the bzz reports. I get that there are a lot to read, but I would probably report more of my bzz if I got faster feedback. I often only report half of my contacts, because I feel I am taxing an overburdened system.

laurie Says:

it helps to see the progress tracked of the responses, how many respond to which ones…like that!

pfloydmaster Says:

Graphs are good to an extent. They can tell the selling ablility of the products but at the same time there isn’t enough information. Some products do well in small town America where they just don’t do well in a large city and vice versa. The graph above will give feedback on the Bzz activity of the items but again: Where are the “word of mouth” reports coming from and who is involved? Does the agent with the most Bzz live in New York and have a massive email contact list that represents the whole country or is it only a local list…nearby family and friends? Hard to say actually. Most campaigns shot for target audiences in restricted areas (I’m new and still learning to Bzz so don’t shoot me. lol). Anyway, an overall graph is good for the entire team but not really practical for individual campaigns. JMO.

rbartlett5 Says:

i think this is a great idea :) visuals are the best way to get through to the masses IMO

zakcoop Says:

I’ve never been offered a buzz campain. I’d love to join, but no offers. Still waiting …

rockin Says:

I’m a brand new BzzAgent, so pardon me if I’m on the wrong track.

I believe the question is “But what represents a successful Campaign? That is, if we could move all our Campaigns into a certain area on this chart in the future, what would that be? Exactly which areas of this chart indicate successes for our clients, which indicate successes for us, and where do those overlap?

Seeing how this is all about “word of mouth”, a good campaign to me would be represented by the quantity of responses. Now that’s not to say that quality responses aren’t important, but if the quantity is there, then you can coach your Agents on returning better quality responses. As agents our successes in getting out quantitive Bzz’es will ultimately mean success for the client as well. So, let’s the get the quantity up and coach and mentor those who need help in the quality department. :-)

rebecca Says:

I just signed up. I work in marketing and wanted to see what this is all about. I think it would be great to see how the other campaigns are doing, even if you are not involved in them. I just signed up for the Sonicare blast and already received my kit in the mail. When a good product is being bzz’d about, I would guess there has to be some success. I have already told several people that I really like the Sonicare product. I guess it depends on the client and the product.

Kim Says:

I think it would be alot easier with the charts .. Great Idea

littledistrictgirl Says:

I also believe this would be a great idea and different…



Mb Says:

It’s always good to have a visual representation for people to see how their performance effects the larger picture.

Ann Says:

Are there different definitions of “success” for a campaign, for example:

How does the client define success? Increased sales? Valuable feedback on negative aspects of product? Something else?

How does BzzAgent define success? Happy client? Revenue? Other?

Cheryl A Says:

Great idea

tweet Says:

This is thinking outside the box. Great idea.

smileybarb1 Says:

I think the charts are a great idea to show the progress, etc. of each product or service. So, we know how the Bzz is going!! And how the campaigns are going!! Thanks, Keep up the good work!!

Maiinganikwe Says:

Isn’t a successful campaigne basically one that is done honestly? Reporting the positive AND the negative of a product?

Purple Reign Says:

You say that campaigns further to the top had a greater quality of agent activity, but is that measured only in the number of reports each agent submitted? Quality reports would be of greater value to the client than how many they received from one agent, in my opinion. Quality reports would include all the pertinent info…the who, what, where, when and how (and specific quotes from bzz conversations)- would all have to be there in order to be considered “quality”. It took me a while to understand the chart without having a legend (the green dots threw me off). Clearly it would be better for your clients to be on the upper right corner of the chart, with quality (if indeed we are talking about quality) reports from agents AND quantity of reports per week. Success for the client equals success for BzzAgent. Perhaps a figure in the chart could be “% of reporting agents” which would remove the ability to move to the right of the chart just by having more agents involved in the campaign. The percentage of reporting agents would also give an insight into the amount of agents that were interested in responding both positively and negatively (ie; they felt a strong need to respond either way).


This is a very good idea. It would be very interesting to see how the campaigns are doing.

Amy Says:

I am new to this and would love to know how I compare to other agents. This is such a fun idea! Thanks!

tbnana55 Says:

I have been a BzzAgent for almost two years and have only been offered a couple of Campaigns. I have complained but that did no good. I have a sister in New
Jersey who has been a BzzAgent that get Campaigns regularily. WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? Location!!!!! I’m in North Carolina smaller town and she is closer to larger towns. I am almost 60, have 3 children and 5 grandchildren. Currently I have 3 of my grandchildren living with me. There are alot of things I have seen offered that I would love to Bzz about, but not offered in my area. Some of us need to just get use to what “THEY” want us to BZZ about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

joysboys Says:

Just for the record, I am in my mid 40s and have only been a member for a couple of months…I have been invited to join several campaigns already, and have joined some of them…you do have to react quickly and check the website to get on them. I am also very involved with several different types of groups and activities, so maybe they see more opportunity for me to get the word out~who knows, I’m loving this though!!

purpleforfree Says:

Its a great evaluation of how the Bzz agents are spreading the word in each campaign.

Erin Says:

I like the other chart better.

namenotreleased Says:

I love a good chart, makes all the facts and figures so much easier to invision and understand, Great Job!!

gracehater Says:

Great idea!

sarab Says:

Charts are good - shows how agents are doing - gives an idea where we are going.

sarab Says:

Charts are good - shows where agents are going and what can be done to improve.

sarab Says:

Charts are great -gives an idea where the agents are going

linda Says:

I think its up to agent to decide on how to use this chart…….God bless

Sandi Says:

I am 60, have been recruited for campaigns, am on a very low income and enjoy bzzing people. I do not like charts that cover a person’s progress because so many factors can determine how they progress. If I’m sick or not able to get around I don’t see as many people to bzz them so charts will only frustrate me about my progress compared to others. It’s not a contest, or a paid job to prove myself better then others and I don’t want it to be.

Kathleen R Says:

I am so excited to answer this question. First, I’m a once in a while perfume promoter. I wasn’t fortunate enough to be in the Ralph Cool campaign. But when I went to Macy’s and tried the tester, I thanked God, I wasn’t in it. I did not like it at all. Perfume is a very personal choice. I think the percentage of every Bzzagent liking it would be about 10% or less. If it was more, they lied. Take the Sonicare. I loved it. I’ll also bet you got a great response with that one. The egg creations? I haven’t had the guts to even try it yet. I shouldn’t have joined that one. It depends on the product and the product alone. I don’t thing you’ll ever get a perfect chart.

Rosie P Says:

I would love to see a chart that showed me how the campaign was going, and how I was doing compared to the other buzzagents. It would help me to strive to do better and help give me a kick if needed it.

DoubleOSeven Says:

I’m a new agent and this is my first Bento submittal. I am a Sales and Marketing Director in a high tech company. Coincidentally I just started reading Tipping Point whicjh at least so far in the book is heavy on WOM. I totally dig the WOM way of spreading the word, but like many marketing concepts I am constantly distracted and bothered by the lack of accountability of many methods. Have there been any BzzCampaigns that included a way for the Bzz to be tracked as it leaves the Agent and spreads? I know this is difficult, but we all most acknowedge the value. I am hoping people like Bzz have figured this out to a degree.

- DoubleOSeven
“A Licence to Sell”

dolly62 Says:

I think this would be a great idea, it would give other agents to see how things are going …

Amy Says:

I don’t think there is one “ideal” place on the graph, I think that the graph should be divided into 4 quadrants and different products should be judged as successful if the point falls in that quadrant. Well, probably everyone wants to avoid bottom left. But, for example, something like a network TV show would want top right because it wants to appeal to a number of types of people, and many people in each group. Meanwhile, higher end products would want a smaller number of people spreading to a large number of people who are in their same demographic. Do you have the kind of data to profile Agents in terms of being one of these quadrant types? I think that would be useful to me as a company using your service, not only to know you were targeting people who have interest in, say, electronics, but that they also are the type to buzz a lot of people or better yet adapt their buzz strategy based on what they are bzzing. Now that would be cool, to group agents by how they adapt to each type of campaign.

Catherine Says:


Jenn Says:

I think the graph is a geat idea for agents. I do think if idividual graphs were avaialble that would be a benefit. It would provide a sense of self accomplishment knowing what your have acheived in BZZ. In order to ahve the graphs I know someone has to complete them. In my opinion the graps shoule only be avaible to agents who have participate dina minimum nuber of campaigns so comparison can be measured. Quadrants are a great idea!!

Michael Says:

Well how many people that report bzz actually made “WoM” bzz to begin with? it all boils down to how accurately the reports are done, and the detail put into them. For instance i could get a bzz campaign packet and “not” spread WoM at all and still submit a detailed report so overall there should be a percentage we fraction out and many other mthematical ways to avg whether the campaign is generating “succes” or just free stuff for the bzzagent. Hopefully both. Thank you Bento Box Bzz Agent Completewally singing out! (Quality and Quantity should meet at a median of perfect bzzagents!)

Aletha Hicks Says:

I think the graphs and the way you have set up the new website are just great indicators of how the whole program works! It is really exciting to see how we are doing and what others think. Different people have so many different ideas of what they like and what they don’t like. This should really help marketers with their product adaptations.

heather shockney Says:

I think it would be great to see charts of how Bzz campaigns are goings. I like knowing how things are working or where it needs to be improved.

erica Says:

i have quite a few things to say in regards to the bento box. what a great way to make a customer keep coming back for more “take out”. have you ever read fish the book on great customer relations skills. this website is better then that because not only do you want to keep coming back and learn alot but you also get a great perspective and get to write an opinion without anyone screaming back at you. fantastic

Nicole Eiden Says:

I also think it would be great to hear about how a Buzz Campaign is doing during the process. If I know there is a real shortage of “Buzz” than I would be more inclined to make the extra effort to talk to more people about the product. Also, if there is a lot of “Buzz” I would also want to tell more people so I don’t fall behind other agents.

Liz Says:

It would be helpful to know what a company’s goals are for a campaign. For example, if they needed lots of agents for a campaign, but only one report per agent (goal to be over on the right), then I might sign up for a campaign. Otherwise, I only sign up for the ones that I know I will be able to bzz to many different folks.

crystal Says:

I think its a great idea

Terry Says:

I think it’s a good idea. I could see how well I’m doing & what the progress is in the campaigns I am participating in. Since I’m fairly new to Bzz, I think it would be helpful to me.

Bonnie Says:

I also think it would be a great idea so everyone can see how well they and everyone else is doing.

Jeanine Says:

I assume that the answers to these questions are reflected in the new scoring. I like being able to see how I’m doing, and like the system.

But as a new BZZ Agent one of the things I have found frustrating is the length of time it takes to get a Bzz Kit. During the zip loc campaign, it was several weeks before I had the sample although I went to the store to check it out and began talking about it before I had the product — but that was because it was a product I REALLY liked. now during the aquapod campaign, I’m waiting for the Kit, and can’t find the darn product. Here I suspect the problem is the vendor. I’m on the Innocent in Death campaign. Why do I have to wait so long between receiving chapters? If I’ve reported, give me access to the next chapters so I can continue reading the darn book!

squiggs7 Says:

I definitely think the new scoring system give agents an incentive to bzz more, make more reports, and be overall more conscientious about what we’re doing in each campaign. It’s made me more aware of how much I participate in a given campaign.

Ctrinco Says:

I agree with rockin…when thinking of word of mouth…its a numbers game…to the right of the chart far better than top left…

Heather G. Says:

How do you determine how many BzzAgents can enter a campaign? It is the same number for each campaign? If not, then the data on how many reports were received is nearly useless, because, as you point out, the more agents in a campaign, the more reports will likely be filed. If you’re limiting the number of participants, then you’re also limiting the number of responses. Of course, if the same number of participants are allowed for each campaign, then my point is moot.

I believe that you can’t use the same yardstick to measure the success of each campaign. Some products have a smaller appeal. The number of participants doesn’t matter so much with those. Some have a shorter product life (seasonal or limited edition). It doesn’t matter so much if people will be repeat buyers with those products, as long as lots of people rush out and buy it when it first comes out. You can’t effectively compare reports/responses for the two.

VivaceVoce Says:

Charts are a good resource for knowing how things are going and what can be improved.

kalikhia Says:

I think it’s a good idea. I could see how well I’m doing & what the progress is in the campaigns I am participating in. Since I’m fairly new to Bzz, I think it would be helpful to me alot as a homemaker.

smileybarb1 Says:

LOVE THE CHARTS!! Also, Love the new BZZ Page!! Just would like some more surveys, sp I could get on more campaigns that suit me, so I could BZZZ More!