Meeting of the New Marketing Minds, Part 3

This is Part 3 of my series of takeaways from the 2008 New Marketing Summit at Gillette Stadium. Part 1 focused on the importance of listening, while Part 2 focused on content creation and becoming your own publisher. Today I’ll share some of the ideas mentioned around controlling your brand online.

Lose Control – Heck, you already lost it, but it’s all good

If you can’t beat them, join them. Smart corporations are quickly realizing the value in giving up control of their brands and putting it into the hands of their customers.

I really enjoyed David Meerman Scott’s keynote “World Wide Rave: Creating triggers to get millions of people to spread your ideas and share your stories.” During his presentation, David shared six “Rules of the Rave” from his upcoming book entitled “World Wide Rave” which will be available March 3, 2009.

According to a description from the book’s microsite, a World Wide Rave is when people around the world are talking about you, your company, and your products. Whether you’re located in San Francisco, Dubai, or Reykjavík, it’s when global communities eagerly link to your stuff on the Web. It’s when online buzz drives buyers to your virtual doorstep. And it’s when tons of fans visit your web site and your blog because they genuinely want to be there.

One of his six “Rules of the Rave” and a key theme from the conference was “Lose Control.” According to Scott, the new rules of marketing mean you have to give up control to reach your customers. Don’t require people to give up their information to get information because it’s not working. If you make your information totally free to the public then you are likely to get a better response.

Sometimes you have to give a little to get a lot – and it works. David offered the example of how the Grateful Dead was the first band to allow its audience to record live concerts. This practice ultimately made them the most popular touring band in history.

Another great example was the Cadbury Gorilla video. Cadbury created a video of a drum-playing gorilla set to Phil Collins’ – In the Air Tonight. Now Gorilla’s have nothing to do with the Cadbury brand and the viewer didn’t even know it was Cadbury behind the video until the end when its logo appeared. What was even cooler than this video concept was that people actually took the content (content creation again) and made mash-ups of the same video to different music and released their own version. And within each and every one, the Cadbury brand appeared at the end. That didn’t cost them a dime for that additional exposure – excellent!

This isn’t your grandfather’s marketing

While the concept of new marketing is really exciting, we need to remember, as Christopher S. Penn pointed out, that new marketing is not a shiny new object so don’t treat it as such. Instead, look at it as another tool in your toolbox. There are ideas that have been done way before the internet existed that you can incorporate into new media. It’s a balance of finding what will work best for your organization.

So before you decide to jump in and incorporate some new media into your organization be prepared to stop, listen, create and let go. Visit for more information on upcoming New Marketing Summit events throughout 2009.

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