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Citizen Marketers: When People Are the Message Hardcover – December 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Business (December 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419596063
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419596063
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #645,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A solid... insightful explanation of how the Internet has armed the consumer -- which is to say, everyone -- against the mindless blather of corporate messaging attempts. Drop everything and read this book --The Wall Street Journal

In the Internet age, the medium is no longer the message. As Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba show in this extraordinary book, people are now the message. Tens of millions of intrinsically motivated, self-expressive amateur content creators are overturning the old marketing orthodoxies. Citizen Marketers is a brilliant guide to this new landscape. It bursts with so many fresh insights and so much smart advice, you'll need a second highlighter --Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind and Drive

Citizen Marketers has really inspired my thinking and the direction I am taking with my marketing team. Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell have convinced me of the way to engage today's consumer and provide a roadmap for how to do it. --Cammie Dunaway, former Chief Marketing Officer, Yahoo! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

The woman sitting next to you at Starbucks focused intently on her laptop may just be determining the next big thing.
 
In coffee houses, offices, homes, dorm rooms, and airport lounges around the world, millions of people use laptops and cell phones to become today's new publishers and broadcasters. Armed with only a broadband connection, these regular citizens are exercising enormous influence on culture and what we buy.
 
Who are they? What motivates them? In their provocative new book, Citizen Marketers, Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba explore the ramifications of today's burgeoning social media. As everyday people increasingly create content on behalf of companies, brands, or products—to which they have no official connection—they are turning traditional notions of media upside down. Collaborating with others just like themselves, they are forming ever-growing communities of enthusiasts and evangelists using videos, photos, songs, and animations, as well as the "user-generated media" of blogs, online bulletin boards, and podcasts. From the rough to the sophisticated, their creations are influencing companies' customer relationships, product design, and marketing campaigns—whether the companies participate willingly or not.
 
Whether freeing Fiona Apple, building buzz for Snakes on a Plane, or denouncing Dell Hell, citizen marketers are democratizing traditional notions of communication and marketing, even entire business models. Citizen Marketers examines some of the early winners and losers in this new culture of business, as well as some of its most noted constituents.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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I'm a fan of these guys [Jackie Huba & Ben McConnel].
Rolando Peralta
Put this book on your personal reading list and prepare to buy additional copies for friends: it is that good.
Jerry Saperstein
The biggest value in the book is the extreme wealth of real-world examples to relate your knowledge back to.
P. McEnany

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mack Collier on January 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
One of the first things that struck me when I began reading Citizen Marketers, was the ability that Ben and Jackie (calling them McConnell and Huba just doesn't fit) have to take a concept as misunderstood as Social Media, and scale it down to where it is accessible to all, and to do so without talking down to the reader. In fact, the book does such a good job of giving background on the various forms of social media, that it can double as a general primer on the subject.

But where CM shines is in explaining what exactly Citizen Marketing is, who these people are, and what motivates them. I'll be honest, going into reading this book, I was a bit worried that this would simply be a collection of case studies providing examples of citizen marketing, bookended with an introduction and conclusion chapter. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, Ben and Jackie have done exhaustive research into the subject of citizen marketing, and instead of simply rehashing examples such as the CGM buzz behind Snakes on a Plane, Jarvis' Dell Hell, or the liberation of Fiona Apple (quite possibly my favorite story in the book, which I'd never heard of previously), Ben and Jackie talked to all the parties involved, and discovered what they did, why they did it, and who they did it for.

Their conclusion was that they were dealing with, concerned citizens. Citizens whose love of their favorite brand compelled them to take action on its behalf. And thanks to the rise of the internet, and more specifically social media, those concerned citizens not only have the tools necessary to produce their own brand marketing, they have the ability to reach others, and mobilize them to share their cause.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rolando Peralta on January 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a fan of these guys [Jackie Huba & Ben McConnel]. As most of you, I also met them with Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force, I even bought the Discussion Guide and follow their Blog everyday.
The fact is that this book covers really great experiences of lots of industries. One of my favorites is placed in the Record Industry, I thinkg that if they'd wrote the book these days, RadioHead would be a great case for the book.
More interesting lessons come every chapter, and more than a "Handbook", it's a Review one. And it will definetly be a classic record of our new marketing era.
So... Old School Marketing guys... this could be a book that shows you that Marketing is not the same, since several years ago.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Chassman on January 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Ben McConnell does a phenomenal job of providing an overview of the social media landscape (Chapter 4) as it exists today in it embryonic state. What he brings to life is the truth about the democratization of the media, now that the tools to be publisher, broadcaster, and creative director are in the hands of the citizens at large. This new reality requires anyone responsible for building and marketing brands to take note and read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris Thilk on January 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba provide plenty of examples of how people like you and me are changing the face of marketing in their new book "Citizen Marketers: When People are the Message." The book is cram-packed with stories of people who have created their own ads for a company simply on account of being a fan of a product. Or how enthusiasts have created online communities where they and people like them can trade stories and tips. Or how dis-satisfied customers have done irreparable damage to a corporate reputation by sharing with their online audience a bad experience they've had.

McConnell and Huba touch on a few key points. First, people are sometimes so moved by their love of a product or company that they are motivated to create their own pseudo-marketing content as a way to express that. Second, people are always seeking out a community of like-minded people and, if one does not already exist, they'll create their own. Third, customer service is no longer a closed loop between a company rep and the customer. Now bad customer service experiences wind up online for all the world to see. Fourth, a company that knows how powerful their community is can achieve great things, as long as it never forgets that community has the potential to crush them if they start making missteps.

To amplify those points and show just how important it is for companies to monitor what the community is saying about them, companies need to remember a few things:

1) Google never forgets and it is an impartial tool, remembering both the good and the bad.

2) The tools that allow people to broadcast their opinions and enthusiasm have never been more prevalent, cheaper or easier to use.

3) Google loves those prevalent, cheap and easy to use tools.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Goren on January 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I flew through this book. Not because it was light reading, because it was so engaging. Ben and Jackie found a thorough way to explain what motivates people like you and me to function as micro-agencies that work on the behalf of - or against - brands.

And they really make their theories digestible. Consider how they name and explain The 1 Percenters, the 4Fs (Filters, Fanatics, Facilitators + Firecrackers), and the 3 Cs (working with citizen marketers through contests, co-creation and community building). They're all easy concepts to wrap your head around, presented with real life explanation-example-consequence examples.

What really spoke to me, though, came in Chapter 7: How to Democratize Your Business. This is where they introduce the 4 Cs. Thinking about my own clients, this chapter provides ideas and smart insights on how to engage consumers and get them talking. The examples they provide and the companies used to show how to do it right are real eye openers. Converse, Ban, Shakira, The Beastie Boys, Lego, Discovery, Microsoft, New Line Cinema, to name a few, have all embraced their fans, and either got them involved or embraced their existing involvement to great effect.

Here's the lesson I took from the book:

You can't sit back. People are working on your company's behalf as a hobby to promote, generate excitement and just talk about the aspects of your business that excite them or drive them nuts. Whatever the case, they're out there and you've got to embrace them. Listen to them. Hear what they're saying, good or bad, and make room for their thoughts and ideas in your organization.
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