we want to be part of something


Excellent points by Technogoogles about the Stromhoek Blogger’s Wine Freebie:

I’ve been following Hugh’s sideline, ie new client, with interest. He’s levereging his muscle in the blogo-world to generate some PR for a wine called Stormhoek by giving away free samples and asking people to comment upon the wine in their blogs – and in doing so creating some ‘marketing disruption’ [his term, not mine]. It’s the marketing as conversation thing. However, what Hugh and Stormhoek are doing is circumventing that period where ‘use’ grows into ‘advocacy’ and by doing so it risks being just another ad campaign albeit one using a different ‘channel’ and a slightly different method. Advocacy is different from buzz and High risks not so much ‘disrupting’ marketing as being very much part of the ‘push’ marketing machine.

Fair enough. So I left the following in the comments:

Sure, wouldn’t we all love the blogosphere to be magically turned into product pimps. But that would be too easy, too predictable.

Not to mention, ineffective.

What’s more interesting to me, and more part of the long term plan, is not using bloggers as an external advertising mechanism.

What’s far more interesting to me is how this interaction with the blogosphere will affect the internal conversation… how it will affect the internal culture of Stormhoek itself.

In the Hughtrain, I wrote “the future of advertising is internal”. This is what I’m talking about.

The story isn’t, “Buy this product so you can be more like us”, which is what typical ‘cool’ brands try to do. We want to be more like them, not the other way around. We dig what’s happening in the ‘Sphere, and we want to be part of it.

So it’s more about “outreach” than “selling”.

i.e. We want the conversation to move from the external to the internal, not the usual “firehose” mass media internal-to-external.

That’s the plan, anyway. And yeah, I agree, there is some risk. But you got to try these things.

Some time ago Jeff Jarvis wrote, to paraphrase, the future of marketing is not, “Here’s why you should buy our stuff, but more “We’re interested in the same things you’re interested in.”

Like I said, it’s all about Outreach. It’s about wanting to be part of something interesting, something larger than the actual product.

That being said, it’s early days in this brave new world of ours. And I’m interested in finding out what the edges are. The only way to do that is by trying out different ideas. Some work better than others.

But it’s something I (and a lot of my readers) find endlessly fascinating.

[NB: This post was orginally posted on my main blog.]


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