One of the concepts we’re trying to tackle as part of mesh (May 15th and 16th in beautiful downtown Toronto, get your tickets before it’s too late, etc. etc.) is the idea that Web 2.0 and blogs and all that they represent are fundamentally rewriting the rules for the marketing business — regardless of whether you are marketing a company, a product, a person, an idea or a political party.
As marketing whiz Seth Godin has written in his book Flipping the Funnel, which you can download from his website if you’re interested, one of the most effective ways to market something is to make contact with people on some kind of personal level and create a relationship, a dialogue — a conversation. As he puts it, “turn strangers into friends, turn friends into customers. And then, do the most important job: Turn your customers into salespeople.”
That (or at least the first part of it anyway) is something we — Mark, Mike, Rob, Stuart and myself — have done with mesh, more or less without even thinking about it. And the power of Web 2.0 has been a big part of the success we have had so far, in marketing a brand-new conference almost completely through word-of-mouth and the blogosphere. Less than a month after we launched the conference, we were halfway toward our ticket goal (we’ve still got a few left, so tell all your friends — heck, tell your enemies too).
Flip the funnel and turn it into a megaphone, Seth says. Empower your customers or your users or your community and they will tell you what you need to hear, Tara says. Jump on board the Web 2.0 cluetrain.