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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Something to rave about

World Wide Rave : creating triggers that get millions of people to spread your ideas and share your stories
David Meerman Scott
Nonfiction 194 pages
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.  2009

The main theme of this book is that older advertising methods have gone stale and that the best way to get people talking about your product is to provide them with information that’s useful to them. Simply telling people how good your product is won’t work — they don’t care about your product  —  they only care about their needs. If you satisfy their needs, with information that is useful, novel, or humorous, then they will respond to, and spread, your message. When enough people spread your message, you’ve started a “world wide rave.”

The author calls his style of marketing a “world wide rave” in part because he wants to avoid the “sleazy connotations” of the ubiquitous term “viral marketing.” He believes that communication should be genuine and not generated by anonymous paid promoters disguised as objective reviewers.

“Viral marketing” refers to making your message infectious so that it spreads far and rapidly. Your information stands a better chance of being raved about when it is useful, novel, or humorous. The message should have a short, catchy title to engage viewer attention.

Sharing is a major key to starting a rave. Scott contrasts old-school marketers who lose sales by over-defending their copyrights with those who generate buzz by passing out goodies. More than one band has built its audience by giving music away while asking nothing in return. Many companies who offer eBooks and other information packages ask viewers to provide their email addresses. Scott claims that the practice of asking viewers to fill out forms discourages them from continuing to the downloading stage. He believes that better results are gained from offers with no strings attached.

Scott claims that anyone can start a rave and cites several examples of non-professionals who have done so. However, most of his example rave starters are large corporations. Scott provides no instructions for starting raves. There is no sure-fire method for getting a rave going — it’s a matter of trial and error — perhaps not the sort of basket to put all your eggs in.  

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