Topic: Book Club

Citizen Marketers: Your Aha! Experience

Posted by Stephen Denny on 500 Points
You just read Citizen Marketers. What is the one thing that just changed in the way you will approach social media – either for your company or for your most relevant client?

What was the “aha” experience you got out of this?

Moderator Note: This discussion refers to the book Citizen Marketers by Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell (topic: social media). Click the title to buy the book from Amazon. Then join the conversation. We'd LOVE for you to participate!
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  • Posted on Accepted
    I must admit, I didn't take blogging all too seriously until recently, and Citizen Marketers clinched the deal for me. I am already including a small social media component in a project that is just getting started for a client, and I'm going to try to include it wherever I can in the future for clients.
  • Posted on Member
    Hmmm. Good question. It's already changed the taxonomy I'm using with my clients; they've (Huba/McConnell) helped me articulate my rationale for using more WOM in plans. While I've only been in the "social media" space for 6 months, the book made me realize (so that's an "aha!") how putting social media plans at the forefront minimizes if legal would just believe that ;-).

    While I knew of some trends, the book outlined the confluence of other factors and drivers that have netted into the current landscape. There were some "aha's!" for me at those points which I particularly enjoyed.
  • Posted on Accepted
    My "wow" moment was the realization that social media is increasingly becoming a new form of mass media. As a teacher of mass media, and integrated marketing communication, I don't think that social media can be ignored (which it often is), nor should it be relugated to just a class or two in a mass media curriculum. The place of social media as a truly dominant form of mass media and as a powerful voice in any society, must begin to be taught as part of mass media and marketing (and many other areas as well), not just as a distant cousin.
  • Posted on Accepted
    I have been intensely drawn to Web 2.0 but have not found the material to back my case to put more organizational resources into this world. Citizen Marketers is just that, laying out the power of citizen marketing and why companies and organizations should increase access points to themselves and their products. The A-Ha for me is that I was on the right track and Ben and Jackie have built an excellent case for me to help garner more organizational resources for all of the social networking outlets available beyond traditional media and marketing.
  • Posted on Accepted
    Citizen Marketers makes the simple point that you can not alienate your customer base. The goal is not to promote your brand, but to make your customers participate in it.
  • Posted by Mark Goren on Accepted
    I'm a believer in the authors' message, have been for a while. But after reading the first six chapters, they open the seventh with a quote from William Gibson:

    "The future is already here. It's just not very evenly distributed."

    This simple line beautifully summarizes the whole social media scene for me. More and more people are putting themselves out there – and in a big way – but this quote serves as an important reminder: not everybody is out there, gets why their neighbor wants to be or knows how to play along. This is true of consumers and companies equally.

    It's our role to educate, inform and bring our clients into this space. As marketers, we have to remind ourselves of this from time to time.

  • Posted on Accepted
    My moment was when the authors segmented the CMs and created a rational structure to understand, and I felt as if I was sitting in a Sociology class.
  • Posted by Stephen Denny on Author
    I see opportunities for "blogging for business" in a lot of areas, some of which can affect the bottom line and frankly, some of which are just stray comments on the internet. Credibility, traffic, dialog, and a host of other things will determine whether a blog can help (or hurt) a brand.

    Here's a few thoughts that hit me --

    1. Is your product or service dependent on use over time? Think camcorders -- you open them up on Christmas morning, shoot an hour of tape, and then it goes in the closet. If your consumers don't use them, they'll never talk about them, buy more stuff, upgrade them, etc. Engaging them and the entire community makes everyone more involved. And happy, too.

    2. Is your product or service dependent on compatibility? Think headsets (my Plantronics days coming back to me) -- do you know how many phone systems there are out there? Yikes. Is it the manufacturer's responsibility to know whether a product works with a domestic China-manufactured host product that doesn't even have an English user guide? Well, yes. Unless the community comes to the rescue. How you encourage them to help you is the next hanging question.

    3. Are you competing against a face-to-face enemy? I consult for a company that is centralizing a lot of "knowledge" that currently resides in the market -- a new business model. But now you run the risk of being "impersonal". So how do you animate the personality of a guy you may not actually meet face to face? Sure, give him a webcam. But what about hearing what he's working on, how he's solved other people's problems over his career -- giving a customer a deeper glimpse into who this person is.

    There's likely more, but these hit me over the course of reading the book and picking up the comments.

    Blogging can play a role -- it isnt' a cure-all, by any means, and we're always in danger of going a bit overboard when something new hits us -- so it's our jobs as marketing thought leaders to apply these tools to make our clients (or our brands) more money.

    What other examples can you think of ???

    S. Denny
  • Posted on Member
    In blogging for business, I see many opportunities for independent contractors that have could use blogging to maintain interpersonal proximity with their clients (iow, brand awareness). This will work best when the nature of the relationship is long-term, ongoing and consultitative (as opposed to strictly functional).

    One clear example is personal financial planners. If the major firms play their cards right, I envision companies like EdwardJones providing my friend Tuan with social media tools to provide his own 'nearby online presence' to his clients. Syndicate generic articles from the corporate hqs, while some articles will be written by the planner themselves. For easy newsletter subscription to the blog, one can use a email provider like FeedBlitz.

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