I'm excited to announce that I've inked a deal with McGraw-Hill for the publication of my first business book, microMARKETING: A Breakthrough Approach to Building Brands by Thinking and Acting Small.
If the title alone isn't enough to clue you in, I'd like to give you an idea of the ground I'll cover in the book. Here's a bit of how I described the book in the proposal itself:
A media revolution is underway, fueled by a micro-content phenomenon that is shifting the balance of power from mass communications to masses of communicators. This shift plays out daily on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Ustream and other social sites. It’s in the notion that an otherwise normal individual can use social media and low-end technology to become a micro-celebrity with a significant following. It’s in the viral effect that takes hold when even one online influencer (in essence a one-person media outlet) sparks a conversation that makes or breaks a brand. It’s in the shift in behavior that is turning the smart phone into the “first screen” for Gen Y and many increasingly-mobile Gen Xers. It’s in the shift from watching 60 minute television shows interrupted by 30-second advertisements, to watching 30-second pieces of online video content with no advertisements at all. It’s even in the changing of our expectations of product design and retail sales, giving rise to dozens of successful small businesses and individuals (think Threadless, think Etsy, think Mimobot, think Lemonade) that can create and sell enough high quality, unique or custom merchandise at a premium to shoppers for whom choice and individuality matter more than convenience and price.
These are exciting times, but they can also be scary times for marketers who have been trained to think that bigger is better, and for whom the excesses and successes of the past 50 or so years – big budgets for major media ad campaigns designed to sell mountains of product through big-box retailers – seem to be the only way to build a big brand. For better or worse, the new reality is that the old way doesn’t work so well anymore. Simply put, micro-content and macro-marketing don’t mix – and trying to maintain the status quo while consumer behaviors and expectations change amounts to little more than a recipe for failure.
Enter micromarketing – a new approach to building brands, marketing products and services, and growing meaningful long-term customer (and corporate) value. Micromarketing emphasizes relationships over reach, interactions over interruption, and the network effect over the broadcast network. It is built upon the premise that the “next big thing” is really lots and lots of small things, and that to survive and thrive, even the biggest marketers must think and act small (make that “micro”), too.
microMARKETING is not a "Twitter book." Puh-leeze... In signature Verdino-style, I will aim to help marketers understand the larger trends that are driving the popularity of tools like Twitter and what the real world implications are for businesses (even if Twitter itself -- or Facebook or YouTube, for that matter -- goes away), but my focus will be aimed squarely at the big picture. I also don't plan to trot out the same ol' tired social media case studies. In fact, one key piece of my approach is to help large companies understand how to thrive in the era of micro-content and micro-culture by taking lessons from the people and organizations that are involved in the revolution at the grassroots level. In other words, I'll be looking at what the biggest of big corporations should learn from "whatever experts."
Again, from the proposal:
Over the past several years, social media has evolved from a trend to watch to an irrefutable fact of life for marketers of all sizes. Now – before most companies have even gotten social media right – the mainstreaming of micro-content services, the ubiquity of powerful low-cost handheld technology (from Internet-ready phones to consumer-grade HD cameras) and the rise of DIY culture promise to change the rules of consumer engagement yet again. It is important to understand how these changes impact our ability to build brands, manage customer relationships and drive sales today, and this will only become more important over the coming years as more and more consumers flock to the technologies that are powering the shift.
On the flipside, it is also important that marketers not get swept up in the hype surrounding a single tool or tactic, losing sight of the bigger implications for their businesses. As has happened with core social media tools like blogging, podcasting and social networking (and short-lived fads like Second Life), marketers now run the risk of not seeing the forest for the trees – of jumping on the “Twitter bandwagon” with short-lived, ill-advised tactics that do little to impact their businesses.
On the one hand, microMARKETING educates decision makers about larger trends and what they mean for companies who are looking to more effectively engage consumers through new digital channels. On the other hand, it delivers tangible and practical case studies, stories, tips and tricks from familiar competitors (other large corporations) and unlikely sources of inspiration (micro-businesses and individual creators.)
microMARKETING is slated for a May/June 2010 release. I need to hand in the final manuscript by mid-October. Needless to say, I've got my work cut out for me over the next few months.
That may mean less blogging for the next few months, although I'll still try to post here at least once/week. And you should stay tuned for periodic updates on the book, my progress and the process. Hell, I may even ask you for some input along the way.
Finally, I'd like to thank the good folks at McGraw-Hill -- especially Donya Dickerson -- and my agent Ethan Friedman at LevelFive Media.
Good times, ahead...