The Eclectic

Time moves in one direction, memory in another. – William Gibson

Citizen Marketers

Posted by David Leslie on February 22, 2007

Today I attended a presentation by Ben McConnell, the co author of the book Citizen Marketers as well as the author of the blog “The Church of the Customer“. The notes that follow were taken in real time in the atrium of the Kilgore building which was serving as the overflow area. I didn’t take notes of the Q/A session that followed as I moved into the auditorium as I wanted to ask a question.


48 million content creators in the United States (what counts as content)

  • Tradition one way marketing is being disputed by the ‘democratization’ of content creators
    • Point of BS: you can create content for ‘free’
  • Need to look at the people in order to understand a trend
    • Point of BS: Tools are free and easy to use
  • There is now an impact on traditional media
  • Amateur culture is now being infused by social networks and creativity
  • Everyone is a publisher, DJ, commentator, blah, blah..
  • Social networks are member networks
  • This is driven by broadband
    • Point of BS: What about those areas without broadband
  • A founding idea of social media is the bill of rights
    • A voice
    • A vote
    • A vocation
    • Point of BS: What about companies that do business in places like Egypt and China that do not offer such rights to individuals.
  • Most influential media is Word of Mouth
  • There is no control in social media
    • Point of BS: Ever here Apple suing bloggers
  • 4 Types of social marketers ( missed one)
    • Firecrackers
      • Big pop then go away
    • Fanatics
      • Point of BS: Save our Show campaigns lead by Fanatics are sooo 1990’s
      • You are your Google search results and you can’t really control Google.
    • Facilitators
      • Build forums where a community can form around
  • Why do these people do this?
    • A form of productive leisure
    • Many people’s hobbies are a bridge to their professional lives
  • The 1% Rule
    • The total number of people who come into the democratized community will create content
  • Inequality is the rule
    • These creators are on the edges of your community but they will influence the whole
  • Work with the 1%
    • Create with them: co-create
    • Formalize community relations: Discovery channel built an educator network for teachers who use their programming. Peer to peer education and best practices
  • Participation drives growth

Wrap up: Looking over the notes, I remembered something my Dad said when I was getting upset about my favorite team moving “Never fall in love with another man’s business”. A lot of this revolves around getting people to fall in love with your business. But isn’t there better things in this world to love than a business or product?


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