Ten years ago I was educating people about what they might expect from their websites. For many medium and small businesses, it was their first website, and they wanted to know how it was going to make them money. Nowadays, a web presence has become a part of almost every business’ “price of admission”. Ten years ago, you weren’t credible without a business card and a Yellow Pages listing, and people were already seeing that before long a website would become a part of the minimum credibility standard.
For almost the past four years now, I’ve been writing a pseudonymous blog that primarily follows the emerging/missional church, but even there I occasionally touch on topics relevant to marketing and (for lack of a better description) “Cluetrain” thinking. I have a post or two about Starbuck’s that might be the culprit, or it might be the quip I sometimes use with reference to products or services that I tend to call “a perfect solution to a problem nobody has.” Whatever the inspiration, I somehow made it onto the authors’ list of people who helped inspire or inform their thinking as they describe what they call the “Tuned-In Process” through their book, Tuned In: Uncover the Extraordinary Opportunities That Lead to Business Breakthroughs (USA Link) by Phil Myers, Craig Stull, and David Meerman Scott. I discovered the link-back to my blog and read their offer to anyone on the list to provide them with a free copy of the book. I was curious about what they were saying and how I might fit in, so naturally I took them up on the offer.
The Cluetrain Manifesto told us “markets are conversations.” But what happens if the conversation doesn’t go well, if one side feels they know everything about the other and doesn’t have the need to listen at all?