Citizen Marketers

CITIZEN MARKETERS When People Are the Message


This is a review of "Citizen Marketers: When People Are the Message" by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba for Week 7, 2009 of the Alt-MBA Program (

Transcript of Citizen Marketers

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CITIZEN MARKETERSWhen People Are the Message

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Alt-MBA Week 7

Presentation by Cassie [email protected]

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“The message is simple:Control is

out of control.”

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Meet the New Influencers - Filters

• Definition: Human wire services; filters and aggregators of information.

• Example: Hacking (created and run by a non-Netflix employee).

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Meet the New Influencers - Filters- Fanatics

• Definition: True believers and evangelists; volunteer coaches / activists whoanalyze the progress of a brand, product, organization, or person and prescribeaction.•Example: McChronicles, written by a McDonald’s fanatic who wants the brand tobe “awesome.”

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Meet the New Influencers - Filters- Fanatics- Facilitators

• Definition: Community creators.

• Example: Mini Cooper car owner and community organizer (

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Meet the New Influencers - Filters- Fanatics- Facilitators- Firecrackers

• Definition: The one-hit wonders of

citizen marketers.

• Example: “Bowiechick” and her

tutorial video that drove camera sales.

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People Are the Message Three Commonalities Among Citizen Marketers’ Work:

1. Personal Expression

2. Amateur Status

3. Freely Given

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The 1 Percenters The 1% Rule:

About 1 percent of the total number of visitors to a democratized

forum will create content for it or contribute content to it. About

10 percent will interact with the content.


“Building a solid core of early adopting volunteers or

contributors is critical to creating a successfulcommunity-driven Web site or to launching a new product or

designing a grassroots campaign.”

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The 1 Percenters Built the World’s Largest Encyclopedia:

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The Democratization of Everything Technology Flattens the World:

- Over 1 billion people online; proliferation ofbroadband

- Virtual megaphones and platforms - from

digital cameras and cellphones to blogs

and social networks.

- Millions of people are content creators,

publishers, and broadcasters.

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Creating a Democratized Community

The 6 Lessons of YouTube:1. Design and build with community as a founding


2. Make sharing content extremely easy.

3. Show statistics and flaunt data.

4. Allow for personalization of profile pages.

5. Create a simple, well-designed interface.

6. Provide a search functionality.

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Hobbies and Altruism

Market-Helping Behavior:

- The behavior of everyday people who help one another with decisions on

what to buy and who to buy from.

- Four reasons for having market-helping behaviors:

1. Altruism

2. Personal relevance

3. Common good

4. Status

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The Power of One

Memes and How They Spread:

- A meme is a catchphrase or concept that spreads quickly from person to

person via the Internet, much like an inside joke.

- Four stages of successful meme replication:

1. Assimilation - The meme is noticed, understood, accepted by the “host”

2. Retention - It’s embedded in memory

3. Expression - The idea takes some form

4. Transmission - It’s passed on to more people

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The Power of One and Comcast

1. A citizen marketer creates remarkable content 2. Bloggers spread the surprising story

3. Traditional media outlets pick up the story4. The story lives forever in search

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How to Democratize Your Business

The 3 C’s of Working with Citizen Marketers:




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The “3 C’s” in Action: Threadless

The Threadless Business Model:

- About 150 designs submitted daily bycommunity (2007)

- Community votes on favorites; 4-6 designspicked each week

- 1,200 shirts of each design printed- All sell-out in 6 months; 90% sell out

in 2 months

“Allow your content to be createdby the community. Put yourproject in their hands. Let yourcommunity grow itself, then rewardthem for making your projectpossible.”

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Citizen Marketers and the Alt-MBA

Filters, Fanatics, Facilitators and Firecrackers - The 1 Percenters*

*This snapshot does notrepresent all of the amazingAlt-MBA contributors.

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Share Your CM Stories

Alt-MBA Member Case Studies:

- How have you been a Citizen Marketer? Which “F” are you?

- What communities do you participate in?

- What brand(s) / organization(s) are equipping their

communities? Which ones are operating in the old way?

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The BIG Question

How Do We (Alt-MBA) Get Betterat the 3 C’s?

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What Are Your Ideas?

- What would make this program more relevant / compelling to you?

- How can we make community the Alt-MBA’s core competency?

- How do you want to contribute?

- How can we equip each other to be (better) citizen marketers?

- Insert your question here (in the discussion forum).

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“The future is already here. It’s

just not very evenly distributed

yet.” - Wiliam Gibson

Now, go tell your friends…

Welcome to the Future of Education