And I don't mean that in some wistful but weird romantic way.
Way back in the way (2008 or so), my colleague Joseph Jaffe used to talk about "using new marketing to prove new marketing" - the glides-off-the-tongue UNM2PNM if you will. Essentially, he meant applying the principles he espoused in his books and on his blog to the way he marketed his own stuff (said books, for example), as a means of proving that the stuff really works. Or doesn't as the case may be. But either way it was open, honest and the right thing to do.
So I figured if Joe could use new marketing to prove new marketing (and yes, for the most part his ideas did work when he put them into action), why shouldn't I use micromarketing to prove micromarketing? You see, (for those of you who haven't read the book - ahem...) my thesis is that in this age of microcultures, micromedia and microcontent the best way for marketers to deliver good results for their businesses is to tap into the trends toward microculture, micromedia and microcontent (rather than buck against them) and connect with customers through lots of small but impactful initiatives.
Enter Jason Sadler. A couple of years back, he started a company called I Wear Your Shirt. What does he do? Well, he literally wears your shirt. Companies pay him (and this year, his buddy Evan) a fee to don a logo-emblazoned t-shirt for a single day. Throughout that day Jason and Evan host live Ustream shows, post photos to Flickr and Facebook, video clips to their YouTube channel, and tweet about your product on Twitter.
Although I didn't cover the company in the book - I met Jason at a conference around the time the book was going into edits - I Wear Your Shirt is in many ways the ultimate micromarketing business model. So I bought September 2nd and gave it a go.
The offer to Jason's community of followers was simple: buy a copy of the book from Amazon, email your receipt to Jason and you'd be entered for a chance to win a new Kindle. Total investment? Around $600.
So Jason and Evan blogged and tweeted and Facebooked and streamed. They created a couple of cheeky bits of custom content, like this:
Nifty. But the real question of course is did it work?
The numbers would seem to indicate it did. Although I'm still waiting for McGraw-Hill to give me firm sales figures (and frankly I'm not sure they can give me numbers by retailer by day), here's what I know:
- When I woke up on September 2nd, microMARKETING's Amazon rank was somewhere in the 200,000 neighborhood. Respectable but let's just say Stephen King wasn't losing any sleep. During the day, as the I Wear Your Shirt guys posted and promoted, the book climbed as high as 17,000 (or so). That's a respectable leap and, to put that in context for you, the book hadn't ranked that high on Amazon since the week of its release. I'm happy about that. Even better? Although I can't link this directly to the IWYS push, it sustained ranks between 30,000 and 20,000 for a few days after.
- Although I didn't ask Jason to pimp the microMARKETING Facebook Page, he did. And I saw the fan count more than double on September 2. To be clear, we're talking about just a couple hundred new fans but the % growth is still impressive. And again (although it's impossible to directly attribute this to IWYS), the momentum has hardly let up: in the days since September 2 the fan community has grown by another 75 people or so.
One of the things you'll understand as you read the book is that "big results" are relative (and subjective) but I'd say that an Amazon rank that jumps by an order of magnitude and a community count that more than doubles in just one day is a pretty solid win.
What do you think? Feel free to chime in with your thoughts.