Scott Monty followed in the footsteps of his boss, Joseph Jaffe, and asked the online community online for help to purchase a product. In Scott's case a snowblower. 5 months ago, Joseph asked for an iPhone in exchange for a podcast sponsorship. (Both from Crayon fame.) And Grant Prouly, one of Jaffe's readers, asks for a Macbook Pro.
Now, before I go any further, let me clear about one thing: I believe participatory media and social networks are great for people helping each other out. With thoughts. Conversations. Money. Prayer. And this post is not about slamming people in need.
However, these two sentences in Scott's post concern me:
"If this angle doesn't work out - and I have very low expectations - perhaps Toro, Sears or Lowes are paying attention. It would be an interesting project for them to be involved in."Is this a real project? Is it more than asking friends to help out? And, even more important, is this the state of conversational marketing?
Didn't I just read in 'Join the Conversation' from Joseph Jaffe that:
"81% of marketers believe that in 5 years they'll be spending as much or more on conversational marketing vs. traditional marketing"
or was I dreaming? Now, I'm agreeing with Jaffe that small ideas are the way to go but how small can ideas be before companies just walk away from any conversational marketing tactics?
Let's face it, some brands believe in conversational marketing, understand the philosophy and idea behind it. But they need to understand how conversational marketing can scale, how they can reach potential/potential customers and how to convert them. Or brands won't spend a dime utilizing conversational marketing.
There are ways of doing it. Scalable ways. Efficient ways. And it will take the whole social media community and a lot of work to convince brands to spend their money on these tactics. In order for conversational marketing to really take off, we need fresh ideas, fresh voices and fresh thinking. And executives of cutting-edge companies to move the conversation forward and advance our thinking.
I'm not sure bartering for iPhones and snowplows will do the trick. But I'm sure we need less tricks/stunts and more thought leadership and case studies.