I have just completed the book Join the Conversation by Joseph Jaffe and as someone new to the Marketing and New Media space it certainly was an eye opener. Jaffe’s first book Life after the 30-second Spot ‘reveals how today’s brightest marketers are using new tactics to engage consumers and new avenues to take the place of TV, radio, and print’ (from the books website). Join the Conversation takes a similar approach and reveals ways brands and companies can reach consumers that are already fed-up or blind to traditional marketing techniques.
I first came upon Join the Conversation as part of Jaffe’s Use New Marketing to Prove New Marketing campaign (UNM2PNM for short). In UNM2PNM, Jaffe offered this book for free to individuals willing to read it and give it an honest review. He wanted to use the marketing techniques is his books to prove their own effectiveness, turning the book into it’s own case study. This is a pretty bold move as the reviewers are free to disagree with him and criticize his hard work. But after reading the book, I realized that it is a case of ‘eating ones own dog food‘, that Jaffe stands behind his work and feels confident that you will find value in it.
The biggest takeaway for me is that as a marketer (or brand manager, public relations, etc) you truly need to engage your customers as honestly as possible. This can be as simple as starting a blog and allowing comments on your corporate website, to one of several interesting techniques used by brands described in Jaffe’s book…sorry no spoilers here! But the key is that it is done honestly with no contrived conversations.
Jaffe incorporates this exact technique as the embodiment of the book where he references and provides a web link to posts on Jaffe Juice or the books website to get certain points across. The beauty of this technique is that you, as the consumer of the book, are free to follow that link and formulate your own opinion. If you disagree (or agree for that matter) you can post a comment and let him know. How’s that for opening the lines of communication between brand and consumer!