Thursday, March 08, 2007

Citizen Marketers recap

Ben McConnell of Church of the Customer, Creating Customer Evangelists and now Citizen Marketers fame came and spoke to OCLC staff and area marketers on Thursday, Feb. 22. I've been slow to post my notes from his talk--but here we are, finally:

There are 48 million content creators out on the Web. (That is like the population of all of South Korea.) Most of these are amateur content creators. Meaning--they are not being paid to create this content. So when this creative group of people connects with products, they become "Citizen Marketers." It's the idea that your brand reputation is in the hands of a customer, for good or ill. Anyone who interacts with you has the power to praise you or to vilify.

More stats:
  • 55% of kids aged 12-17 use social networks.
  • 84 million households have broadband.
  • There are 1 million new broadband subscribers per week, worldwide.
The democratization of access to information is spreading like wildfire.

An example: is the Barack Obama for President community. The tagline--"This campaign is about You." You can join in, find other supporters, create a blog, learn more about the senator's stance on issues and more. In the first week it was launched, it gained 700,000 members. Those members in turn created 40,000 blogs and 2,400 groups. (Alice editorial note: Who says youth don't want to be engaged in the political process? They just want it on their terms!)

The Control of the Message (previously the realm of marketers and strategists) is now totally Out of Control. And if you give people a voice, a vote and a vocation--they can influence your brand in today's culture.

What are the top 5 most influential media?
5. Articles
4. Newspaper inserts
3. coupons
2. TV
1. Word of Mouth

Ben and Jackie have separated the Citizen marketers into four broad categories: Firecrackers, Filters, Fanatics and Facilitators. They've got great examples for each type--and each type is someone to encourage, be ready for and respond to--immediately.

One ominous note: You are your Google results!! Ignore natural search engine rankings at your peril, because for many people that's the only way they see you.

Ben and Jackie also brought up something they call the 1% rule. And it's that a whole multitude of people may READ or WATCH stuff--but only 1% of people will be motivated enough to create something. So how do you work with those Citizen Marketer 1%ers?
  • Enable co-creation: Ben's example is Shakira's fan-only "Hips Don't Lie" video--Shakira used all the home video segments on her real video. It was co-created by her and all her fans.
  • Enable community: The Discovery channel formalized their evangelist network of 1%er educators to help train one another. (And sure enough, usage skyrocketed...)

In marketing traditionally there are 4 Ps: Product, Price, Placement and Promotion. Ben posits that in today's world, there is a 5th: Participation.

So how do we integrate the 5th P into our libraries?
  1. Blogs
  2. Reaching out to your 1%ers: your advisory boards/teen panels/Friends of the library groups and empowering them even more to take the message out
  3. Lay the foundation for social networks. (Alice editorial: Alane and I are part of the last week next week of Five Weeks to a Social Library!)

The book has lots and lots of examples and stories. It's a quick read with lots of YouTube clips mentioned.
One parting question: How recommendable is your product?

No comments: