From what I can see of the publishing industry, the approach to marketing to consumers is like most other industries. The dichotomy is of an us/them.
We speak TO you.
The most vivid example of this is how most book signings are done.
The author goes into a bookstore, sits behind a table full of his books, talks AT the crowd for a few minutes and then, has a few minutes of interaction with each person (usually as he signs the book for the patron).
When Dan Pink and I sat down to discuss his strategy, we recognized a few things.
- If “broadcast” is Marketing 1.0, then “dialogue” is Marketing 2.0. We had to find a way to engage his readers/fans more effectively.
- Dan, himself, is a “social object,” a common point around which people can congregate. (BTW, you don’t need to be famous to be a social object. It can be any point of common reference)
Putting that together, I offered up in the strategy document, the following suggestion:
Facilitate in-person meet-ups whenever possible.
- You will publish your travel schedule on your blog
- You will use tools like www.dopplr.com to share your schedule
- You will ask for the location of your email contacts and pro-actively reach out to them when you visit their cities.
- You will suggest that these people “friend” you on Facebook and then you will use the “Map My Friends” application to identify locals with whom you can share the Bunko story.
- You will NOT set up one-off meetings, you will set a time/place for a 1:few networking sessions and simply “hold court.”
What this has morphed into is the Bunko Breakfast Series. Dan sets a time and a place and buys coffee for whoever shows up (as well as giving them a souvenir pair of Bunko chopsticks).
What he’s noticed is this…
It’s not just the interaction he has with each of the attendees that is of value, it’s the interaction they have with each other.
What happens is that like-minded folks get together around Dan (our Social Object) and they feel inspired and invigorated by their common viewpoints. This happened to me at the Pulver breakfasts in DC and is happening for Dan. Seth Godin, as usual, put it beautifully when he said “connect like-minded people.”
So, what happens then?
The folks who attend (who are already big fans) walk away as EVEN bigger fans, ready to go out and spread the Pink/Bunko gospel (online and offline).
Remember, marketing today is gasoline, not matches.
And what I told all of my partners back in my Microsoft days about their events…people come to events to meet other people, not to get bored by 2 hours of death by PowerPoint (don’t get me started on how poorly most people use PowerPoint, IMHO).
Create an environment (aka a platform) where folks can learn from each other and your position as Social Object is strengthened, which is exactly what you want.