3 posts categorized "Tribes"

12/16/2009 Charity begins online

With the holiday season comes the time of donating to charities. It's not surprising that we're starting to see this in different marketing guises. Two examples in the last week caught my eye. They're very different in many ways, but they both center on the idea of charity.

I received an email from Seth Godin's Triibe letting me know that Seth's had a new book out and that we had a chance to get the book three weeks ahead of the publication date. Now, I love getting (and reading) Seth Godin books. I have the milk carton from Purple Cow and the cereal box from Free Prize Inside on my shelf. My picture is one of the multitude on the inside cover of Triibes. So of course, I jumped all over this.

The catch was that I didn't have to pay for the book, per se. I had to donate $30 to the Acumen fund. Since it was a donation, I actually donated more. Seth's goal was to raise $100,000 for the fund, and get the book into the hands of his biggest fans.

Screen shot 2009-12-16 at 7.26.10 AM
Within two days, he had raised $108,000. And all of us get the book first. Win-Win.

Around the same time, Paypal, working with the great EVB, launched a site "Regift the Fruitcake." The fun idea is that no one wants to get the dreaded fruitcake for a gift. The upside is that instead of the fruitcake, you pick your favorite charity and get your friends to donate.  This all happens through social media, Facebook in particular.

Paypal provides the payment engine and gives away prizes each week. It looks like a great way to encourage people to donate to their favorite charities and to bring their friends and network along with them.

A week before Christmas, the Fruitcakes have collected close to $17,000. The biggest charity has raised a little over $2,000. There's probably a greater good will here, but it's not working as well as Seth's campaign. That might be for two reasons.

Screen shot 2009-12-16 at 7.55.56 AM

The first is that Seth targeted those of us who already were fans and had shone we'd plop down money for a book. But the fact that we get it first to review, instead of the journalists, was a free prize inside we couldn't resist.

With the Fruitcake, the person asking is a friend, not someone we look up to. And it's not clear what's in it for us, except that warm and fuzzy feeling.

Both are great ideas; don't get me wrong. But it's worth thinking about what makes great ideas work.
12/09/2008 Social Media: Obama is King of KAOS

Yesterday one of my Triibe members sent me a link to a study about Obama and his use of online and social media during the 2008 campaign. This e-paper, by Yovia founder Jalali Hartman, is titled “Obamanomics: A Study in Social Velocity.”

One of the more interesting premises is that Obama wasn’t taking his playbook from Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign; he was taking it from Stephen Colbert’s fake run for the presidency in 2007! (I think a better role for Colbert would’ve actually been Maxwell Smart instead of Steve Carell, but I digress). That campaign spawned a slew of social media activism.

Hartman points out that Obama spent less than 2% of his huge campaign war chest online, and that McCain actually outspent Obama on paid search by 22 to 1! So how did Obama do so well online?

The study identifies four key components of what they call Social Velocity:
1.    Content
2.    Connections
3.    Community
4.    Conversation

Ultimately, Obama gave up control to his advocates and let them create something unique. I think the best part in the study is describing how Obama’s camp gave every graphic, speech and video clip to a rock band to make a video and to do whatever they wanted. They carried this “no-rules” content strategy throughout the campaign.

Read the report. It’s a great lesson in social media and creating grassroots movements.

In the end, Obama embraced the KAOS of digital and gave up CONTROL. Most brands lack the cojones to do so.

10/13/2008 I’m in Seth Godin’s New Book!

Well, would you believe, I’m on the inside of the book jacket? I pre-ordered the book “Tribes”, joined Seth’s online tribe, and he put my crazy picture (along with other tribe members) on the inside of jacket cover. I've received other cool things when pre-ordering his books, like getting a cool milk carton containing Purple Cow or a cereal box with Free Prize Inside. Why do I keep doing this? For one simple reason:

Seth Godin is my Yoda. That’s the best description I can think of (now that my son Felix is making me rewatch all of the Star Wars movies). His writing and the inspiration it’s given me has helped me make the move to go out on my own and leave my “safe” agency job.

Banana_tribes “Tribes” is about leadership. The best thing about Seth’s writing is that he doesn’t pull his punches; it’s a book that challenges and inspires.

Best of all, he practices what he preaches. I’ve written a number of blog entries about making your customers part of your product. Here’s a living, breathing example. It’s not surprising that Seth G. has a pretty close relationship with BzzAgent, a company devoted to this type of word-of-mouth marketing.

And if you’re reading this, it’s proof it works.

This is a good book for you if you’re stuck in a large organization, figuring out your next career move, or just trying to become more active in your neighborhood, local politics, or religious community.

Thank you, Seth.

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