42 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
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?
Let's think the other way around. Has it ever occurred to me of asking my online friend Mr. W, who works at NTT (the Japanese telecom giant) to give me advice on the selection of my calling plans? Never.
If my experience is of any indication, I must conclude that the Locke/Rageboy's Gonzo Marketing proposition is false. It does not happen.
The fact is, I really don't want this sort of thing to happen. I want my online presense to be a private thing. And I don't want to deal with someone with some hidden (or explicit) corporate agenda on his/her mind. Even if you are NOT explicitly required to make any sales pitch, a sales lead IS desirable than not having one, and that motivates people to make subconscious distortions to make subtle sales pitches. He says that there can be an iron wall between the content and the sale department. We all know how well THAT works.
His logic is often screwy. He tries to fool the readers by mixing 2 claims: that the broadcast model is dead everywhere, and the broadcast model is dead on the Internet. He claims that there is no mass market on the Net, so in order to get the market share, they have to go for the numerous micromarkets through gonzo marketing. But when he talks about market shares, is he talking about market shares in general, or just the market shares on the Net? Maybe, it just means that firms should forget about net marketing altogether, and focus on TV. How important is the net market anyway?
His over reliance on mushy sentimental rethoric is often annoying. Also, he never shows us that the gonzo marketing model actually works. All he mentions is that he wrote funny clever zines which the readers loved (or some big shot praised). Did it really lead to any sales for the sponsor companies? He never tells. In one rare occasion, he notes that Harry Potter series have elicited over 10,000 reader reviews, and he says that the worth of these reviews (which represents a conversation within a micromarket) is apparent by the fact that Harry Potter part5 is already the #1 best seller. But... that's not entirely due to the reviews, is it? That's not any proof.
And Amazon encouraging reader reviews is vastly different from GM infiltrating an organic gardening site in the hopes that some one may mention something about cars (that's the gonzo proposition). A bookstore wanting people to talk about books is understandable. A GM sleeper lurking at an organic gardening site...that really creeps me out. And I don't think that's sincere or truthful. Maybe she IS really interested in organic gardening, but still, people would feel awkward talking about cars there. It won't be the same. And before you know it, you'll have to start suspecting everyone.
The book has its good moments. The Internet being a market in the old sense, a place for conversation and interaction, is nice and interesting (as it was in "Cluetrain".) But as a whole, I can't really see his ideas flying. It was great while he was ranting. But when he tried to compose it into some rational theory that makes sense, well... it doesn't make any sense. And trying to make sense sort of spoiled the irrational crazy energetic fun part that made it gonzo.
I'm giving the book 3 stars, because it is a good read on what's wrong with Internet marketing today. His proposals are, well, a good try, better than most other books that I've read, but falls way to short to actually work, IMHO.
19 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
...It was better than CATS - I'm going to read it again and again.
Are you tired of trying to figure out who moved your cheese? If so, maybe you might want to hearken to the siren call of Gonzo Marketing. Like a latter-day Copernicus, Christopher Locke once again asserts that individuals, not corporations, are the center of the commercial solar system. This heterodoxy might seem counterintuitive, especially to those brainwashed by years under corporate auspices, but I think he's on to something when he writes:
"The embodied-corporation metaphor allows corporations to mimic human beings. To act as if. But the corporation has no heart. The cries will go up at this one, I know. But the reaction is based on another misplaced metaphor. Forget how much your business gave to charity or how it's planting trees or teaching ghetto kids to use computers (so you can hire them later at minimum wage). I mean, the corporation lacks the physical organ we call the heart. That thing in your chest that goes thump-thump. Here, I'll make it easier for you: the corporation has no sex. Those who protest even this obvious truth need to be reminded: it can only screw you *metaphorically*. But this is serious. This is important. Embodiment is a very big deal. Bodies don't come into being through mergers and acquisitions. They are born of woman, as King James put it. Bodies don't file for protection under Chapter 11. They die."
"No corporation has ever fallen in love. Reflect on that a moment. Roll it around on your tongue, in the back of your mind. Does it seem like a non sequitur, irrelevant? It's not."
This type of thing makes some folks uncomfortable. They seem to think that there's no point to reading Locke's ramblings, since he doesn't use the now-ubiquitous bulleted PowerPoint presentation, hermetically sealed and sanitized for your protection. What's more, he makes offhand references to movies, literature, and rock 'n' roll, for crying out loud! The critics howl, "How could his thinking possibly be valuable without clear action items? I don't have time for this kind of rubbish. Time is money, and the business of business is business. Just tell me what I need to do so I can go back to kissing up to my boss, terrorizing my subordinates, and giving our customers a good rogering."
Well, sometimes connecting the dots is more than half the fun, and Gonzo Marketing is some of the dottiest prose you've ever read. It's enticing to think of business as an easy, formulaic proposition, but the reality is that it's anything but. Locke doesn't have a pat little recipe for selling soap, but he does have a lot of interesting ideas. As an added bonus, he's brutally honest and awfully entertaining. Other business book authors might take note - business books don't have to be boring.*
Personally, I agree with Locke's thoughts about the importance of voice, the power of conversation, and the pending re-emergence of micromarkets. Don't take my word for it, though -- buy the book, read it, and decide for yourself. You might not agree with all of Locke's crazy notions, but you just might find yourself rethinking some things that you always took for granted. Of course, if that makes you uncomfortable, you can just flip on the tube and let "important messages from our sponsors" wash all of his heretical thinking from your mind.
"This limited-time TV offer won't last long. Don't delay - order now!"**
* A prime example, one of the endnotes for the third chapter cites: 'Christopher Locke, "Take My Word for It," Journal of the Wild-Assed Guess, September, 1995.' If only every business author had the guts to admit when they were just pulling things out of their backside, the world would be a much better place.
** A total lie... see, I don't know about you, but I feel better already.