With Adver-boyfriend off following his favorite NCAA team around the country this weekend, I had time to catch up on three industry books that have been tempting me from the bedside table. This week, I'll share perspectives on each of those, starting with:
There are two schools of thought on the role of the 'expert' in consulting industries like ours: (1) it's our job to be the smartest guy in the room on our 'best at' subject or (2) it's our job to make our client feel like the smartest guy in the room.
Mooney/Rollins definitely fall in the latter. They've built a book that converges all the big ideas and groundswell of momentum around the social Web into a simple story on impact and action.
Kind of a Daring Book for Girls for CMOs
I say 'built a book' because it's the structure that agency wonks will be attracted to. A visual approach to the ideas and concepts we talk about every day (Come on, who among us hasn't taken a little real-work inspiration from one of Armano's quick sketches of clarity?), repeatable cases and solid frameworks.
For clients and newbies, it's all content.
A few of the ideas that got me scribbling notes in the margin:
After outlining the pitfalls of business-as-usual in a new medium, Mooney/Rollins lay out a New Relationship framework in simple Venn diagram fashion. The center is passion, overlapped on three sides by consumers, community and brand.
I love the idea that passion is the shared quality - the opportunity to build engagement (with people, with networks, with employees). At brunch this weekend, we were talking about the phenom coup Resource's PR team pulled off: Four paragraphs about The Open Brand in this month's cover story of Fast Company. When a friend - who, I should preface, knows everything about a million things I know nothing about - asked me what Fast Company is? And, to try to describe it now ... is, stalling. But, you probably remember when it launched, in the heydey of dot.com, when we were all rethinking work and what it means to find both delight and challenge in what we do every day, and essentially finding passion in work. I like to think that ethic has found its resurgence in the social Web.
The Open Brand also has a great information graphic on the motivations of iCitizenry, plotted on a continuum of everyday to elite:
- 74% are motivated by competence: "I can" (use Web tools for fun, learning and efficiency)
- 16% by collectivism: "I connect" (connect and share with people who have similar interests)
- 7% by culture change: "I am" (effect change that improves companies, products or the experience of others)
- 3% by celebrity: "I matter" (seek recognition or some degree of fame)
In a conversation (darn, I used THAT word) that has largely been shaped by the 1% Rule and other outcome-based frameworks, it's interesting to turn to the why instead of the what.
I digress. The framework is followed by a hall-of-fame of sorts of some of the loudest voices on the Web - from Kos to the diva of Amazon.com product reviews.
Someone I follow on Twitter - maybe Jaffe - asked (more eloquently than I am recreating here) is the Web creating more amateur professionals or is it simply giving us access to more true professionals. It's an interesting question for ad bloggers, but in the largest context of the social Web, it has another dimension: are there new 'careers,' new needs for voices and approaches (like the mega reviewers) that have essentially become the foundation of everything else?
That said, I think for most marketers, the challenge isn't in understanding the outlyers. They're relatively easy to learn about with various social aggregating tools and their own self promotion. Your agency can attack those (with some degree of grace or lumbering) the way they could any other opinion leader. The challenge is understanding the common person. What the key profiles of social behavior are and how those cross-index beyond age ... with a wider swath of loyalty and offline behavior.
I'm guessing the ethnographers at Resource save that level of detail for folks willing to spend a little more than $16.95...