Chris Brogan Is Misunderstood

Needle In A Haystack by evilneedscandyThis one time, at Barnes & Noble . . .

Two days ago a smart and savvy marketing person wrote a post called Bigger Ear Marketing For Authors.  Most people who took the time to post a comment to his article agreed that he had shared a particularly brilliant way to use Twitter and Location Based Marketing (Foursquare, in this instance) to market to an individual at the point of sale.

Today, another super smart and savvy marketing person wrote a post called Why Brogan’s Bigger Ear Marketing Is Wrong.  She disagreed with what she saw as a flawed approach to creating sales conversion.  Some of Gini’s commenters mentioned that they viewed the tactic as having a high “creep” factor.

To be clear, stalking anyone with Foursquare is uncool.  Using Check-ins to push your sales message at anyone who hasn’t opted in to receive them is spammy but, I don’t think Chris was aiming at sales at all.  I think he was looking for another way to begin relationships and get people talking with and listening to him.

Chris filtered some search results to identify people who fit into what he views as his consumer profile and used Twitter to reach out to them based on where they were.  The “Hey, have you seen my book there” schtick?  An ice breaker that could just have easily been “I’m at CES, too – come see me” or “I see you ate at Red Bento last week, I love their Miso”.  The opening line to a conversation.

Data mining.  I use it to find my client’s target consumers and begin a conversation before they find or need my clients.  Because people like to do business with people they know. Don’t you?

~image by evilneedscandy

About the Author

LisaDJenkinsLisa provides print, social and digital communications for destination organizations and businesses in the travel and tourism industry. She doesn't make the tools of the trade, she makes the tools of the trade work for her clients.View all posts by LisaDJenkins →

  • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

    TOTALLY agree, Lisa, that people do business with people they like. The issue I have with the original post is people listen to Chris like it’s gospel and I think the thinking is flawed. I think it works for him because of his status, but it wouldn’t work for your clients or mine.

    A better approach is to mine the data for potential customers (which we do do) and start talking to them as a human being. So, instead of saying, “Hey! I see you’re at Barnes & Noble. Go check out my book!” (sleeze factor), you mine for data about a person’s position/job title or interests/hobbies. Then you start a conversation that isn’t asking them to do something or telling them about your new product or service. Eventually they’ll ask you what you do and then the business relationship is born.

  • admin

    You and I mine the same way, Gini. In my post Please Stop Talking At Me, I outlined a strategy that matches yours. I agree with you that, where we may spend weeks and months building a rapport with someone, Chris’s status accelerates the process a bit – well, a lot. Most people in his target consumer market already know who he is.

    As a reader though, I took away the framework of a process not a How To action to be followed. Maybe I’m in the minority.

  • http://www.LisaDJenkins.com/ LisaDJenkins

    You and I mine the same way, Gini. In my post Please Stop Talking At Me, I outlined a strategy that matches yours. I agree with you that, where we may spend weeks and months building a rapport with someone, Chris’s status accelerates the process a bit – well, a lot. Most people in his target consumer market already know who he is.

    As a reader though, I took away the framework of a process not a How To action to be followed. Maybe I’m in the minority.

  • http://twitter.com/FollowtheLawyer Jay Pinkert

    I’m not persuaded by the “what Chris really meant” strain of conversation because he’s famously circumspect and expertly capable of expressing his intended meaning/objectives himself. His post strikes me as an authenic expression on his part that most people would welcome a spam message from him, and if they don’t, no biggie.

    That’s troubling, and, I would argue, deleterious to his brand.

    By contrast, your alternative icebreakers would be appropriate and genuinely inviting.

  • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

    Your comment about the framework of a process made me realize something. In my business, I’m surrounded by financial, techy nerds, and hard-core marketing professionals. There are only three of us a) that have PR experience and b) use social media both personally and professionally. So the conversations we have internally are outside of the social media echo chamber. I’d be willing to bet real money if I didn’t have these varying opinions, I’d have read the post as a framework of process, too.

  • http://twitter.com/skypulsemedia Howie at Sky Pulse Media

    Wow I need to blog about this Gini is everywhere! I feel like that Pig on his way home in the Geico Commercials!

    Maybe this also comes down to readers and target audience. Chris Brogan is in my view probably read more by small and medium sized businesses. Whenever I have gotten to know people high up at Fortune 500 Companies Social is still a blip. They use it. They have strategies. But its affects such a small a part of their business revenues and incomes. Small business can use social to much greater impact. Chris is technically a small business. He writes books and gets paid to speak. I am not sure if he has ‘clients’ or has ever done social for a company with customers. So he has been a very successful small business really selling to the general public.

    When the folks like Gini or myself which operate in a world of small and big business we analyze things differently and in a much broader viewpoint. We include ROI, we include Creep Factor, we include ‘what if everyone did this’ and then bring the discussion to our peers. Chris is excellent at giving our peers things to discuss and I myself blog and know its hard to always come up with something to write about. I am sure someone like Chris has immense pressure to keep his Brand and his Status up because it truly impacts his earnings much more than the rest of us.