The Founding of BzzAgent
In late 2001, BzzAgent founder and CEO Dave Balter realized that marketers weren't harnessing the power of word of mouth (WOM). His vision was to create a platform that would allow people to experience new products and services, share their honest opinions about them with people they knew and report those activities and opinions so marketers could directly see the results. This community would be something entirely new, bringing consumers and marketers together to organize and track honest word of mouth.
With this idea in mind, BzzAgent was born. Together with Rick Pascocello, a publisher at the Penguin Group, they developed the first ever BzzCampaign program for a book called The Frog King.
The WOM Spreads
This community would be something entirely new, bringing consumers and marketers together to organize honest word of mouth. Our first of many campaigns for Penguin was a success, and more clients jumped on board. Within two years, we were up to 50 programs for everything from airlines to cereal to perfume. WOM was taking off: we even found ourselves featured as a cover story of New York Times Magazine (December 5, 2004). The best part? Our growth was based solely on WOM in action — Agents and clients recommending us to people they knew.
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association
As we continued to grow, so did the WOM industry as a whole — and ground rules were needed to ensure ethical business practices. In 2004, Dave helped found the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), which has since become the official trade association.
Where We Are Now
BzzAgent has grown to become the world's first WOM media channel, allowing agencies and clients to develop and execute their own WOM campaigns through our community of trained Agents.
As of October 2007, we have:
- Over 330,000 wonderful Agents in our international network of WOM volunteers, which is growing by 2,000-4,000 members per week
- More than 300 WOM programs under our belt
- 70 employees working hard to make Agents and clients happy
So far, it's been fun shaping the face of marketing, one conversation at a time. Like reading about our past and present? Then maybe you'd like to become part of our future: