SXSW: Marketing without marketing

Summary of Self Replicating Awesomeness: The Marketing of No Marketing:


Tara Hunt
Chris Heuer
Jeremiah Owyang
Deborah Schultz
Hugh MacLeod
David Parmet

Key take-aways:
Passion for people. Put passion into product.
Let go to gain more.
Social objects are the future marketing.
Technology changes, human behavior does not; nothing replaces listening, nothing.
A story without love is not worth telling

Hunt ( Way of looking at customers rather than product; process not not product (MY COMMENT: product is the message). Conversations are about marketing, customer service, product development. Dont be afraid, it’s an open opportunity. Art more than a science. Get out of the ivory tower, don’t push, weave (network weaving). Look for customers that love you. Put up a FAQ, marketing, customer service. Go local, keep it local, use global reach to distribute locally. Short term strategy: tell the story. Cultural DNA shift, tactics are great; we are in a relationship economy (exchange of free and sometimes exchange currency); marketing is now a mosaic or a puzzle…the payback is long time in coming.

Heuer ( Idea of community (traditional marketing is now saying “Build me a community I want one tomorrow”; this is not the way to think of this). Interpersonal connections make the community, not the tool. Social media is not new marketing, it simply changes how we relate; i.e., company to customer relationship. Attitudinal shift, stop trying to sell, help me want to buy. Make the service the product when there is an expensive product to market and cannot give away for free (e.g., Audi has WiFi, cleaning services). Share knowledge and facilitate interpersonal communications. SHORT TERM: depends on the quality story; “the brands with the best storytellers win” (said by iProspect guy). How do we give an experience of our product away for free. You are giving away a connection, cultivate a feeling, get away from selling a message.

Owyang ( conducts research on this market; online community best practices, clear that companies that let go and let customers take charge have thriving communities, for example, grant private access to an brand “embassy”, let them (evangelists) have access to private data, advocates in the embassy go out and evangelize. HOW DID THEY SELECT THE PASSIONATE ADVOCATES? Blog roles, Technorati rankings, who’s talking most about product, can also use brand monitoring companies, buzz metrics, symphony, buzz logic; the main point is that you can find your “brand lovers”. While at Hitachi, created industry-wide Wiki, let anyone in the community to add to it; became starting points to searches for data storage devices; still in use today.

Schultz ( the more one gives away the more business one gets. Social capital is basically the value of the relationships and reputation. But how much do you give away without going broke? Traditional marketing aims to promote a generic spread of a message; whereas Hugh saw great opp in the market of bloggers and geek friends to promote wine; read book BLUE OCEAN STRATEGIES.

Macleod ( let them say what they want, no preconditions on reviews, gave out the product (wine) with no conditions aside from asking for FLIKR photos; contextual conversations around the wine (ie., product), create Kula, social object within this group; make social gestures, which beget social objects, which begets social markers (demarking the territory); iPhone is a social marker (i.e., SAMSUNG blackjack is not a marker); come “FLY THE FRIENDLY SKIES” is not a marker (MY COMMENT: the tagline is a lie the first time a flight attendant is rude). What matters is not the iPhone but that we’re friends and that we have objects (iPhone) as a way for social communications; the object is our conversation binding; technology is only a facilitator of communications; go in Apple store, they’ve done lots of little things well; little things inform the big things. Create social objects that are cheap if you have an expensive product.

Parmet ( It’s not the message, it’s not the logo, using such is missing the human, and missing the opp to service our fellow humans. “YOU DONT GO VIRAL; THE PRODUCT GOES VIRAL”. You’re not going through an intermediary, why not go to the customers themselves? Put it in the hands of the people who actually use it.

4 thoughts on “SXSW: Marketing without marketing”

  1. This was a great post I follow the Gapingvoid blog and enjoyed their presentation last year at Inman. Social objects and viral marketing are critical these days but few people know how to implement a true social network campaign glad to see you are out there educating the masses!

  2. Thanks John. The key take-away I got this year from SXSW is that the product is the message; that is, if your product needs a full court “push” marketing campaign to tout its benefits, you’ve broken your leg out of the starting gate.

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