De Boca a Boca

Boston area word-of-mouth advertising firm Bzz Agent is bringing its program to the U.S. Hispanic market.

The way Bzz Agent works is by pairing clients' desired demographic objective with “agents” in its database that match that demographic profile. The agent is then sent free samples of the product to try and to distribute amongst friends. At this point the agent sends a report back to Bzz Agent with his/her feedback.

Director of Communications Joe Chernov says the benefits for the client are two-fold: “First, they get real people talking to their friends about the product. Second, they get real-time feedback on those products.”

Bzz Agent currently has over 260,000 agents in North America, 14,000 of which have self-identified as Hispanic. Clients that have specifically targeted the Hispanic market include Clamato and Levis. A smaller campaign will involve anywhere from 2,000-70,000 agents.

What's in it for the “agents,” themselves? Depending on the depth of the reports that they submit, they receive points that are redeemable for trinkets like Bzz Agent water bottles and other small items. Amazingly, only 13% ever redeem their points for anything, says Chernov. “They do it more for the experience than for compensation.”