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Think Like a Rock Star: Author Mack Collier Talks to Marketing Smarts [Podcast]

Hosted By:
Kerry O'Shea Gorgone
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
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Mack Collier is a well-known social media strategist, trainer, and speaker. Mack also hosts the Web's largest Twitter chat, #Blogchat, a weekly conversation about blogging that takes place every Sunday night at 8:00 PM (Central).

I invited Mack to Marketing Smarts to discuss his recent book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies that Turn Customers Into Fans.

Here are a few highlights from our conversation:

Your company can be among the first to create a formal brand ambassador program (7:11): "I started talking to some really big companies, and what I was asking them is 'what programs do you have in place to directly connect with your fans?' We're talking brand ambassador programs, something smaller, whatever. I wanted to...use them as potential case studies in the book, but I talked to maybe a dozen big companies and they all told me the same thing: 'We have no formal program in place.'"

Your most passionate fans can bring you tremendous value, so don't neglect them to focus exclusively on acquiring new customers (10:30): "A true fan wants to help grow the brand, because they really do see themselves as part owners of the brand, and they're...proactively telling other people. One of the things that you can do if you're trying to launch any type of formal program to connect with your biggest some type of referral mechanism. When they connect with other customers, you need to have something in place that helps them move that customer closer to the sale.... Your brand ambassadors want to connect with other customers, and they're already telling them about you."

Not every negative comment is a "complaint" (10:26): "The great thing about a fan is that if a fan sees something that they perceive as being 'wrong' with your brand—you're doing something wrong, you should be improving this—they will bring it to your attention, and then they'll want to work with you to try to fix it. A lot of times when you see  a customer [has said] something...and, at first glance, it'll look like it's a complaint, it could actually be something from a fan where they've identified a potential problem with your brand and they're bringing it to your attention because they want you to know about it so you can correct it.... It could be a very happy customer that's been dealing with your brand for 10 years, and today they had an experience with your brand that was completely inconsistent with the high level they're accustomed to, and they wanted to bring it to your attention because they want you to correct it."

For more information, or to get your copy of Think LIke a Rock Star, visit Follow Mack Collier on Twitter: @MackCollier.

Mack and I covered a lot more ground, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!

For key takeaways, check out our own Veronica Jarski's visual sketch notes of this episode! 

Marketing Smarts is brought to you by the MarketingProfs B2B Forum, taking place October 9-11 in Boston, Massachusetts. The 7th Annual B2B Marketing Forum is the premier event for B2B marketers worldwide. This two-day event is packed with 42 sessions, 4 keynotes, tons of networking opportunities, a lot of fun, and more B2B business smarts than you'll find anywhere else this year. Marketing's full of choices. Choose B2B.

BONUS: Use code "SMART" to get $100 off registration at!

Music credit: Noam Weinstein.

This marketing podcast was created and published by MarketingProfs.

This episode features:

Mack Collier, social media strategist, speaker, and author of Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans. Mack also founded #Blogchat, the largest Twitter chat.

Kerry O'Shea Gorgone is a lawyer, podcaster, speaker, and writer. As Director of Product Strategy, Training, she oversees sale and distribution of MarketingProfs' premium training products. Kerry also hosts the weekly interview show, Marketing Smarts.

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  • by Kelly Hungerford Wed Aug 14, 2013 via web

    Hi Kerry

    I'm a big MarketingProfs fan and Mack and have put Think Like a Rock Star to use in our company, so this is a bonus podcast for me.

    The question around why more companies aren't starting programs is a really interesting. My take is that any company can reach out with a program or at least an ambassador focus that simply integrates some of the aspects of fan building into daily responsibilities and roles. I agree a lot of teams stall when they start planning and then need to find to budget and resources.

    We have taken more of an "un-program" approach and have built in certain aspects of ambassador programs that don't necessarily require extra resources, to our roles. Our team is in direct contact with our super fans so it is easy to quickly add extra value or tools and processes that will help them advocate and help us in our job. Example: product testing - our users love to product test so we have extended that as a perk to a hand full of super users. They love it, talk about it, feel like they are contributing to the product they love. They have truly become extended members of our team.

    Again, thanks and I look forward to your next podcast and you co-hosting #blogchat!

  • by Mack Collier Wed Aug 14, 2013 via web

    BTW Kelly wrote an excellent post on my blog detailing how structures its brand ambassador program -

  • by Mark Wed Aug 14, 2013 via web

    Just bought the book on Amazon after listening to the Podcast! Great stuff and I'm a firm believer!

  • by Mack Collier Wed Aug 14, 2013 via web

    Mark thank you so much! Please email me at if you have any questions, I'd love to know what you think of the book!

  • by Kerry O'Shea Gorgone Thu Aug 15, 2013 via web

    Thanks so much for your comments, Kelly, Mark and Mack! I really loved talking with Mack, and I agree that fan building doesn't have to be as much work as some companies seem to think. It's a natural extension of effective customer relations and outreach. Mark, you won't be sorry: "Think Like a Rock Star" is a fantastic book, packed with actionable tips for marketers!

    Thanks again, for commenting and for listening.


  • by Mark Huckins Thu Aug 15, 2013 via web

    Hi Mack and Kerry, I will definitely get back to you after I read the book! I shared it on LinkedIn too.

  • by Mack Collier Thu Aug 15, 2013 via web

    Thank you, sir!

  • by Gracious Store Sat Aug 17, 2013 via web

    Good post , it is important to marketing smartly!

  • by Chad Horenfeldt Sun Aug 18, 2013 via mobile

    Mack makes some excellent points - especially around referrals. While fans can bring many intangible benefits, referrals quickly demonstrate the ROI of these types of initiatives which I call "advocate marketing programs". It's not that easy to just ask your biggest fans for referrals. You really need to develop this relationship. You may find this post of interest on how one company was able to achieve this:

  • by Mack Collier Mon Aug 19, 2013 via web

    Hey Chad! Thanks for reading, glad you agree on referrals, I think that's one of the first things companies should think about when crafting an advocate program: How to help those advocates better close sales for them! As you said that demonstrates real return on the investment in the program!

  • by Mark Huckins Mon Aug 26, 2013 via web

    I'm on page 67 and can't put the book down! Love the blogging tips on how companies (i.e., Home Goods, Patagonia, etc.) are "focusing on the bigger idea behind their content" and "increasing awareness of larger issues that resonate" with their readers! Great job Mack!

  • by Mack Collier Mon Aug 26, 2013 via web

    Thank you Mark! I'm glad you enjoyed Chapter 3, focusing on The Bigger Idea is a great way to create more compelling and engaging content, which is something most of us want to know how to do!

  • by Kerry O'Shea Gorgone Tue Aug 27, 2013 via web

    Thanks for answering people's questions and responding to comments, Mack! You're awesome.

  • by Mack Collier Tue Aug 27, 2013 via web

    Thanks Kerry, you're kinda cool yourself :)

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