As Marketing Shifts Back to the Everyman

Every Man

There’s a reason people send me products. I’m not an expert. I write about them (or the ones that capture my attention) from the point of view of “some guy with a blog who got something sent to him.” It doesn’t hurt that my blog is popular, but that alone isn’t a good reason to send someone something. It doesn’t hurt that I have a reputation as being a nice guy, so I’m not likely to bitch and complain (though I do give my negative opinions, should I have them).

The reason that people send me products is that I’m the new “everyman.” I’m the point-of-view character who just messes with your thing, or reads your book, or makes a goofy video, and shares with people what I think might be interesting to my audience. It’s that last part that matters the most, though. You knew that.

Marketing is shifting away from impersonal interactions and back towards the more effective world of word of mouth. Blended with the world of word-of-mouth, however (or maybe more accurately, I should say that word of mouth is only one tool in the bag), are sponsored conversations. Ted Murphy just recorded a video about these recently. The only difference is that in one, things happen a bit more organically. In the other, there’s a bit of a push (which usually involves money or a product or a service changing hands).

To me, they’re like a driver and a putter (not that I play golf). Getting people to pay attention in this saturated market is requiring more and more creative marketing. I, for one, see that to be content marketing. But once you get onto the green (or in the financial sense, the case to earn some green), I think word of mouth is the more finesse-level tool. Make sense?

So when I get to play with a nifty camera or drink 30 year old whisky or get a chance to do something neato like that, just realize that I’m also part of a larger story, and that’s the story of the marketing world looking for a new kind of everyman (and I mean women, as well – the mommyblogger community is definitely alive and well with this experience).

Is it effective? I say yes, but ONLY if there is trust and transparency involved in the process. If people aren’t disclosing the relationships up front, and not respecting their community, I can see this failing fast. It’s up to us, but then, isn’t that the beauty of this new world? It’s always up to us.

What say you?

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  • http://www.stephenbaugh.com Stephen Baugh

    Hi Chris

    Can I start by saying you're awesome. I love your blog, and I think you are right on about people looking for the “new every-man” … well maybe not “every-man”. People will follow the niches that they are interested in (Seth might call them tribes) and they look for leaders that give that tribe information and direction.

    I definitely see you as one of those Leaders.

    I think however you (read all of us) need to be careful.

    You did a video blog recently discussing three books.

    http://www.chrisbrogan.com/connecting-connectin

    I am sorry to say that this was probably the first time I was disappointed in any content you have provided. In my opinion, it lacked any commitment and therefore credibility, if only because the books didn't even looked read.

    I know you said you had “skimmed”, but it is in that I think you need to be careful. I wasn't really convinced you were really that interested, and therefore wondered if “skimmed” mainly meant read the chapter headings.

    Gary Vee did a video post where he talked about “The press release being dead”, you are both so correct.

    I think however the “every-man” needs to provide the depth if he is to maintain his credibility, and sometimes it is better to not do the review at all if that depth doesn't exist, rather than just doing it to be the nice guy.

    Hope this doesn't come across to hard. It's not meant to be. In fact I didn't bother commenting on that video post because its a “small” issue.

    You're awesome … Stay well

  • http://www.dinkuminteractive.com/ Rick Simmons

    The question is – who will police the transparency? There have been many instances where it has been proven to be a real issue when someone tries to scam the masses – I just wonder are there others out there that have not yet been found and is the community big enough and caring enough to continue to seek out the pretenders and expose them? I hope so the next step is the real police and that does not work either.

  • http://mediasosial.com/ Chris Prakoso

    Chirs, I am about to do this very thing, i.e. someone send me thing and I am supposed to write something about it. I was thinking to do a disclaimer right in front to warn my reader about this relationship. Do you think this is the right thing to do ?

  • http://www.diaspora.ie/ Mick

    Someone earlier mentioned about 'geek world' and the limited reach to market compared with mainstream media channels. I think this is changing fairly rapidly.

    Whenever someone non-internet literate asks me these days what the web is good for, I combine 'its a good way to keep in touch with people' with 'you can get stuff cheaper'.

    Thats an attention getter and no one likes to miss out on a deal. After that its a step-by-step process. Get online, check prices, read reviews (such as here on CB), make a purchase, tell your friends, and the cycle restarts.

    I've had people without computers ask me to check on the Internet for them. Either to find something difficult to get hold of, or to check prices. Eventually they'll be doing it for themselves.

    There is a danger of course that the 'everyman' of today becomes the advertising moguls baby of tomorrow, pampered and looked after by the big players who want to woo them.
    Many Internet users are still quite naieve, (its amazing how many people I talk to don't know that someone gets paid when they click on an ad!), so the test will be whether 'everyman' stays true to their audience or gets tempted into split loyalties.

    Time will tell and I guess, human nature being what it is, that there will be some who do, and some who don't!

  • http://gregcryns.blogspot.com/ greg cryns

    “It’s up to us, but then, isn’t that the beauty of this new world? It’s always up to us. “

    Amen, brother.

    If you were a golfer you would know that the putter is mightier than the driver. The best golfers are always incredible around the green but not necessarily from the tee.

    People send you things because they know you have a large following. They know we trust you. Put the two together for some remarkable results. ;)

  • http://www.nicholasachase.com/ Nicholas Chase

    Chris,

    I'm slowly getting up to speed on this whole web nmarketing, social media paradigm. I'm grateful there are wise folks like yourself who can 'open the kimono' on important steps in the process. In all of this, my goal is to take the 'high-ground', be honorable and honest in all my transactions, and maintain my web reputation.

    I finally have hosting, my own domain and my own WordPRess blog after months of procrastination. Now I just need to define my 'brand', discover my gifts and continue to be a helpful fellow.

    Respectfully,

    Nicholas Chase
    http://www.nicholasachase.com
    http://www.twitter.com/nachase

  • http://www.nicholasachase.com/ Nicholas Chase

    Chris,

    I'm slowly getting up to speed on this whole web nmarketing, social media paradigm. I'm grateful there are wise folks like yourself who can 'open the kimono' on important steps in the process. In all of this, my goal is to take the 'high-ground', be honorable and honest in all my transactions, and maintain my web reputation.

    I finally have hosting, my own domain and my own WordPRess blog after months of procrastination. Now I just need to define my 'brand', discover my gifts and continue to be a helpful fellow.

    Respectfully,

    Nicholas Chase
    http://www.nicholasachase.com
    http://www.twitter.com/nachase

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