Citizen Marketers


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This is a review of "Citizen Marketers: When People Are the Message" by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba for Week 7, 2009 of the Alt-MBA Program (

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Citizen Marketers

  1. 1. CITIZEN MARKETERS When People Are the Message
  2. 2. Alt-MBA Week 7 Presentation by Cassie Pruett
  3. 3. “The message is simple: Control is .” ol tr on fc to ou
  4. 4. Meet the New Influencers - Filters • Definition: Human wire services; filters and aggregators of information. • Example: Hacking (created and run by a non-Netflix employee).
  5. 5. Meet the New Influencers - Filters - Fanatics • Definition: True believers and evangelists; volunteer coaches / activists who analyze the progress of a brand, product, organization, or person and prescribe action. •Example: McChronicles, written by a McDonald’s fanatic who wants the brand to be “awesome.”
  6. 6. Meet the New Influencers - Filters - Fanatics - Facilitators • Definition: Community creators. • Example: Mini Cooper car owner and community organizer (
  7. 7. Meet the New Influencers - Filters - Fanatics - Facilitators - Firecrackers • Definition: The one-hit wonders of citizen marketers. • Example: “Bowiechick” and her tutorial video that drove camera sales.
  8. 8. People Are the Message Three Commonalities Among Citizen Marketers’ Work: 1. Personal Expression 2. Amateur Status 3. Freely Given
  9. 9. The 1 Percenters The 1% Rule: About 1 percent of the total number of visitors to a democratized forum will create content for it or contribute content to it. About 10 percent will interact with the content. Therefore: “Building a solid core of earlyadopting volunteers or contributors is critical to creating a successful community-driven Web site or to launching a new product or designing a grassroots campaign.”
  10. 10. The 1 Percenters Built the World’s Largest Encyclopedia:
  11. 11. The Democratization of Everything Technology Flattens the World: Over 1 billion people online; proliferation of - broadband Virtual megaphones and platforms - from - digital cameras and cellphones to blogs and social networks. Millions of people are content creators, - publishers, and broadcasters.
  12. 12. Creating a Democratized Community The 6 Lessons of YouTube: 1. Design and build with community as a founding principle. 2. Make sharing content extremely easy. 3. Show statistics and flaunt data. 4. Allow for personalization of profile pages. 5. Create a simple, well-designed interface. 6. Provide a search functionality.
  13. 13. Hobbies and Altruism Market-Helping Behavior: The behavior of everyday people who help one another with decisions on - what to buy and who to buy from. Four reasons for having market-helping behaviors: - 1. Altruism 2. Personal relevance 3. Common good 4. Status
  14. 14. The Power of One Memes and How They Spread: A meme is a catchphrase or concept that spreads quickly from person to - person via the Internet, much like an inside joke. Four stages of successful meme replication: - 1. Assimilation - The meme is noticed, understood, accepted by the “host” 2. Retention - It’s embedded in memory 3. Expression - The idea takes some form 4. Transmission - It’s passed on to more people
  15. 15. The Power of One and Comcast 1. A citizen marketer creates remarkable content 2. Bloggers spread the surprising story 4. The story lives forever in search 3. Traditional media outlets pick up the story
  16. 16. How to Democratize Your Business The 3 C’s of Working with Citizen Marketers: 1.Contests 2.Co-Creation 3.Communities
  17. 17. The “3 C’s” in Action: Threadless The Threadless Business Model: About 150 designs submitted daily by - community (2007) Community votes on favorites; 4-6 designs - picked each week 1,200 shirts of each design printed - All sell-out in 6 months; 90% sell out - in 2 months “Allow your content to be created by the community. Put your project in their hands. Let your community grow itself, then reward them for making your project possible.”
  18. 18. Citizen Marketers and the Alt-MBA Filters, Fanatics, Facilitators and Firecrackers - The 1 Percenters* *This snapshot does not represent all of the amazing Alt-MBA contributors.
  19. 19. Share Your CM Stories Alt-MBA Member Case Studies: - How have you been a Citizen Marketer? Which “F” are you? - What communities do you participate in? - What brand(s) / organization(s) are equipping their communities? Which ones are operating in the old way?
  20. 20. The BIG Question How Do We (Alt-MBA) Get Better at the 3 C’s?
  21. 21. What Are Your Ideas? - What would make this program more relevant / compelling to you? - How can we make community the Alt-MBA’s core competency? - How do you want to contribute? - How can we equip each other to be (better) citizen marketers? - Insert your question here (in the discussion forum).
  22. 22. Welcome to the Future of Education “The future is already here. It’s just not very evenly distributed yet.” - Wiliam Gibson Now, go tell your friends…