Thursday, December 06, 2001

I have originally written the article "Being Gonzo (Marketing Hacker é Gonzo)" in portuguese. Brazil is a different market. People here loves to talk anytime. The conversation is plentyful of joy. The blog phenomena has spread very easy and fast. Of course the article´s foccus mirror this diversity. But I found it interesting to the RGE debate. I thank to Jeneane who help me to translate it to english. Hope you enjoy.

Being Gonzo

"The paradox is not mine, the paradox is me."
Fernando Pessoa

While some people view the Net as the latest and greatest way to carry on business, it is also a way to catalyze voice. More than a business tool, the Internet is a medium—an environment that efficiently amplifies messages.

For a moment, let’s not think “macro.” Let’s think micro. Micromarkets consist of very small audiences that elevate the common voice beyond digital borders. I used to say that the Internet is a place for publishers, and through this editorial strength, we show the teeths to the traditional markets.

The concept behind the Net does not corroborate with everything we have learned about marketing up to now. Surfing on the digital ocean demands that we destroy some thoughts and agglutinate others with new ideas. “When paradox becomes paradigm, worst practices work best.”

Christopher Locke introduces the Gonzo Model in his new book, Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices. Gonzo Marketing offers some of the best thinking in Marketing since Theodore Levitt’s 1960 "The Marketing Myopia." Locke is aware of the tortuous paths of the Net. He understands that the micromarkets live within communications micro channels, where personal publishing versus the press and mass propaganda.

These micro channels (the Marketing Hacker itself and more than hundred projects included in this denomination) are creating a very specific and powerful micro audience. People who forge opinions, the press itself, and many individuals who otherwise would not have a voice, are using this channel as a source of inspiration and communication, each and every day.

Locke proposes that companies must not only pay closer attention to these projects, but that their very survival depends upon their willingness to embrace micromarkets. More valuable than market research, more powerful than mass marketing, and more effective than any propaganda campaign, micromarkets consist of people talking to people using human language that transcends the boundaries of the corporation.

So why don’t most companies “get it”? First and foremost, corporations are not human. They don’t breathe, don’t make love and don’t know how to talk as people. But companies do have the potential to talk through people.

In Gonzo Marketing, Locke unveils the concept of underwriting, in which people do talk as people. Underwriting more closely resembles the concept of mecenato of the gold time of Florence than to today’s practice of commercial sponsorship. Locke’s underwriting model does not presuppose any commercial link; rather’ it’s free and independent.

Underwriting brings continuity to the pure expression of voice, and at the same time brings organizations the real possibility of participating effectively in the virtual bazaar. It means confidence and reputation exchange. Corporations can reach their markets through their underwritten sites. More like anti-marketing than marketing, these underwritten sites represent the market’s point of view.

The Marketing Hacker is this type of site. It is my proposal. Of course I haven´t realised the marketing viablelity through the mecenato. But it´s incredible thinking, isn´t it?. My proposal is spreading the voice diversity through out the Net. Like everybody talking to everybody. Using this bloody mess as reference of information. I called it Creative Information. In the same way, the relatively new phenomenon of blogs are increasing conversation in many ways. Blogs are the catalyzing agent that, until now, has been missing from this.

The Creative Information is more peripheral. Corporations must understand the web from the perspective of the digital people. They must accept the diversity within micromarkets and underwrite their activities. Companies must call these voices to their sites, turning viable the personal projects that span across the Net. This model is a rough approximation to the open source movement, with people working and creating in teams and in tandem. Within micromarkets, our products are already packaged in blogs, sites and debate lists. The next step is for corporations to understand that our products are good, stable, and reliable, and to invest in this media to assure their own survival within the digital jungle.

No comments: