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Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices Paperback – October 15, 2002

3.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Winning Through Worst Practices
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Revised ed. edition (October 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738207691
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738207698
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,049,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Hiroo Yamagata on May 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I've been a fan of Chris Locke/RageBoy for quite a while. His attacks on Internet marketing gurus, those stupid know-it-alls on e-whatever, has been great, and had me rolling on the tatami (I'm in Japan).
This book sums up his criticism, and tries to come up with a remedy of his own, which he calls gonzo marketing. But, I'm very sad to say that his arguments doesn't hold water.
What he proposes is a very zen kind of thing; if you want to sell products on the Net, then you should not think of selling it (because if you think about it, people will sense that you are a sales person, and would despise you). Just be as you are. If you are active online without ever mentioning your product, then someone would notice that you work for such and such company, and people will come to you. Do not seek sales, and the sales would seek you out.
Based on this theory, he proposes that firms should allow employees to enjoy net surfing and engage in news group discussions on payed time. They won't be forced to make any sales or do any sales pitch. Just be sincere, and then, when people encounter some problems with a certain product, it might pop into their minds; "hey, that guy works for this company! Maybe he can help me!" And then you'll have a lead!
Now, this sounds nice (as an employee myself). Hey, I can waste time on the web all day and get paid! But if you have been active on the Net, you should step back and think. For example, I've been so-so active on the net, participating in Linux and other user groups and discussions. In Japan, I'm a pretty famous online presence. Now, has anyone contacted me about my professional business (I'm a consultant in the road and power sector)? Has anyone inquired me about the projects and services of my firm?
Not once.
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By A Customer on February 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
...He offers some interesting ideas, but unfortunately I doubt that any of his examples would result in positive ROI for any of the companies involved.
True to its title (a reference to the eccentric writing style of writer Hunter S. Thompson), "Gonzo Marketing" also wanders and leaves along the way to its business advice. Alas, the odd writing style (sometimes quite readable, sometimes not) failed to entertain or educate me, and it certainly did not convince me that the author's proposals were worthwhile.
The recurring central theme of Gonzo Marketing is that companies should try to connect with customers by having employees or agents participate in communities that include the company's customers. "Companies don't give a damn about advertising . . . . What they care about is connecting with potential customers by whatever means is most effective." (p. 186)
Locke suggests that a company like Ford and Dell empower its employees to participate (on company time) in online communitites which include potential customers. For example, Dell could encourage its employees who believe in home schooling, to participate in online communities about home-schooling, not writing sales pitches about Dell, but instead being visible as helpful community members who happen to identify themselves as Dell employees. Locke also suggests that Ford employees who like gardening could participate in related online communities, and perhaps other participants in the community will decide they like Ford and buy Ford trucks.
This is not a new idea.
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Format: Hardcover
I disagree with the recent review that thinks this subject only deserves an "article" instead of a book. The reviewer seems to think that because Locke does not provide a nice neat little well annotated map of the future of the Net as it relates to business and marketing that he hasn't done a service worthy of "book" status.
Just because you recognize that something is wrong doesn't mean you know precisely what right is. We all know that the torrent of spam that we are daily assailed with is the wrong way to market on the Web (how many of you have really bought anything that was so advertised). But while Gonzo Marketing does not spell out the precise ABCs of what is developing in this New World, he does a very exemplary job of talking about it's roots and realities. I think perhaps the most important single word that is used in both Gonzo Marketing (and The Cluetrain Manifesto) is "voice". The Net and it's derivitive, the Web, are forums for the individual voice to speak quietly but to a huge audience. It is this voice, this individual human communication that matters, because while we'll all trash a spam email within milliseconds, most of us will responed to a truly individual message from another human being. This takes the market back to what is originally was before it was usurped by corporations to mean masses of blank faces, and present it as the simple aggregation of people who wish to have discourse about their daily needs and perhaps exchange a few items for a few other items. Never mind that we're not really a bartering economy anymore, the character of that ancient market place is still deeply embedded in our psyches and most of us feel comfortable on that more personal basis.
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