I “secretly” study a lot of things. Ever since December of ’07 roughly when my YouTube channel hit 1,000 subscribers and I was simultaneously accepted into the YouTube [Partnership Program] I added marketing to the list, which includes things like [NLP], [Conspiracy Theories], [Secret Societies], [Daoism], it goes on and on, I think you get the picture. 😉
My Marketing Journey Begins
I’ve had a very interesting vantage point to watch the “social media” game unfold. It all started with my involvement in [Spreenkler] (Steve, you SERIOUSLY need to upgrade that website! lol). What basically happened is I got to the December meeting late and briefly introduced myself to Steve. I can’t remember much of the conversation, but it moved me to write a [manically inspired email message] (I just read it again for the first time since sending it, check it out if you like). Steve likes to downplay the importance of what he did next, but it kick started everything for me. Instead of looking at that message and saying to himself “Oh sh*t! A Nutter!” He invited me to speak at the January meeting about my experience with YouTube. My scheduled 30 minutes turned into something like 90-120 minutes (because of all the questions I got). I haven’t missed a meeting since then. Also in January I started a Marketing class at UWM.
As time went on I compared my notes from my experience on YouTube, marketing classes, Spreenkler and the various other networking events focused on marketing (like [MIMA] or the [BMA]) and I realized that going to school for marketing was almost a complete waste of time (for me anyway) and that most people had NO idea about what was coming. What was coming?
Social Influence Marketing™
Is it important for me to include the “tm”? lol
I JUST ran into the term “social influence marketing” yesterday via my buddy @romke (here’s [a post on Going Social Now] about it – A “must read” if you don’t want to get left in the dust). Before that I would get all crazy about Trust Economies/ROI (Return On Influence), something [my brother] emailed me (which [he discovered through Chris Brogan]).
Essentially the game is changing and companies that don’t change with it are going to get left behind. That said, lets look at a company that is changing and one of the game changers.
The Fiesta Movement
What is the Fiesta Movement? Basically, Ford is looking for 100 “Agents” (people with a strong social media presence) to test drive the Fiesta for 6 months and blog/twitter/vlog about it while completing (in think) monthly missions provided by Ford. You can read more about it and see some video submission over at [FiestaMovement.com].
I commend the person or team responsible for getting Ford to try something like this. I have a lot of respect for them because I have been ranting about this kind of stuff to a lot of people for a long time and… Currently it seems that most of the “old guard” of marketers and business folk can’t see the point of social media so they don’t want to invest any money in the space (although I must say, it’s changing at a RAPID pace). A company from “the good ol’ boys” era of doing business jumping on the social media bandwagon validates everything I’ve been talking and thinking about. It also validates what a number of people have been saying for a long time and is a huge win for social influencers everywhere. Why? Because the model for monetizing a strong presence/following is using “old school” thinking (lets blaster ads all over this website/video).
There are MUCH more interesting ways to monetize a person’s audience and Ford is now on a path to figuring some of them out. So there’s an example of a company that is changing from old to new, what about someone that is on the cutting edge? A “game changer”?
I’ve been following [Timothy Ferriss’ blog] ever since reading his book [The Four Hour Workweek]. If you don’t know who Tim is, let me give you a condensed history of events that led to his blog and the book. Tim is an entrepreneur. He built a business that was making him good money each month, but he was spending upwards of 15 hours a day running it (due to it’s international nature). After hearing about the [Pareto principle] (also known as the 80-20 rule):
[From Wikipedia] Business management thinker Joseph M. Juran suggested the principle and named it after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. It is a common rule of thumb in business; e.g., “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients.”
After applying it to his business he found that something like 90% of his profit were coming from 5% of his customers (and those were the customers that caused him the LEAST amount of trouble!) Upon realizing this he was determined to find more customers like those and eliminate the stress coming from “problem” customers (through creatively using systems, protocol and outsourcing).
He and this post are a perfect example of the ramifications of “social influence marketing.” Not only does he already have a strong following that he broadcasts his messages to. Many of the people following him have their own networks to rebroadcast the information to (like I am now with this post, and will later with a video). It’s not that all messages are going to be rebroadcasted like this BUT with a little social engineering you can make some awesome things happen.
His most current example is this beauty “Getting $3 donated to [DonorsChoose.org] for every one new follower that he gets for the next 2 weeks.” Not only will he help a good cause but… He’s going to get a lot of new followers in the process (and get people in his network of influence rebroadcasting the message). There are a couple prizes involved but I’m sure those aren’t the driving motivators for most participants.
To read more about this experiment and how you can get involved [click here]. Better yet you could copy and paste the following (or a derivitive of it) and tweet it. :D:
Follow @tferriss and RT. Each new follower is $3 towards the public school system via @DonorsChoose http://bit.ly/5u4rI
Exactly 120 characters. Nice. 🙂
MTK Style Marketing
I’m currently reading [Seth Godin’s “The Big Moo”] and one of the stories stressed the importance of being not one step ahead of the game, not even two, but THREE steps. Quite honestly it’s a tad rough to be not only cutting edge but trend setting. Well, I’m confident that my style of marketing will be trend setting and will bring about the death of advertising agencies FOREVER! (MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!)
I only call it “my style” because it’s a mash up of what I’ve been learning from too many people to name individually. It basically consists of 1. Putting the control of your brand/culture in the hands of the consumer (systematically of course) and 2. Giving every single consumer of the brand/culture a real voice.
That’s it in a nutshell. What I wanted to share is something that wasn’t my idea. It totally seems like it would have been, but it wasn’t. After the idea was shared with me, I did my part in spreading the idea to as many people as I could. Then the project was managed and organized without me doing anything. This sort of thing happens all of the time, but I’m working on making it a “science” out of it.
Anyhow, the trailer for the “MilTownKlan YouTube Alliance.” I thought this was pretty darn cool (and relevant to the topic at hand. 🙂 ).