That marketing guy with the bald head has released a short, free ebook called Flipping the Funnel. His name is Seth Godin, and he’s written a million quirky marketing books including: Unleashing the Idea Virus, Purple Cow, FREE PRIZE INSIDE, and All Marketers are Liers to name a few. Here’s a quick quote to tell you what the 18 pages are about:
Turn strangers into friends.
Turn friends into customers.
And then… do the most important job:
Turn your customers into salespeople.
I don’t think most marketers have a clue how word of mouth can help them. They think they need to use word of mouth, to manipulate it, to pay for it and put it to work.
I may be in the minority, but I think it’s a lot more organic than that. I think consumers of all kinds are too smart. They’re not going to get fooled into shilling for a company that manipulates them into it. When the megaphone becomes a shortsighted corporate initiative, it’s gotta fail.
The alternative lies in being authentic. In creating products that are genuinely worth talking about. In going out of your way to invest in experiences that people choose to share. Then, yes, by all means, make the tools available. Amplify the happiest fans. But without the kernel of truth, you’ve got nothing but a short-lived packaged-goods campaign.