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Forget Expensive Spokespeople, Try a Passionate Spokesblogger

A passage I read several years ago from Steve Martin’s wonderful play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile always stayed with me as a great example of the power of focusing a marketing strategy on influencers:


Today it’s easy to see this phenomenon repeated all over the world as the power of social media continues to rise. Finding your Max Planck has become vital to giving a brand or initiative added credibility in a world where people are increasingly distrustful of media, marketing and advertising.  Celebrity spokespeople are not always the answer, as I have written about before.  Kevin Dugan shared a great perspective coming out of the h on the importance for brands to connect with passionate users.  Indeed passionate users are really driving marketing campaigns to success online, from Kevin’s examples of Target and Ikea to others like Snakes on a blog or Moleskinerie.  In each of these examples, the real voice of individual bloggers is having widespread results, from (possibly) enticing Ikea to open a new store, to ensuring a B-movie with a silly plot will have a big opening weekend at the box office. 

This is more than a spokesperson strategy.  This is entrusting your brand reputation, in many cases, to a customer with a genuine passion for your brand and the authenticity only a real person can have.  If you can get past the obvious danger in relinquishing control to an "outsider" … this has the potential to bring a whole new level of honesty to discussion about your brand.  Birdie Jaworski is an Avon Lady with an influential blog who doesn’t necessarily stick to the agreeing with marketing when it comes to reviewing products.  Robert Scoble’s popularity, in part, rose from his willingness to disagree openly with Bill Gates.  All of which proves that when it comes to finding spokespeople, compliance may be less important than passion.  Smart marketers will focus on finding this passion and do what is needed to help amplify it.  In many cases, it is just to step aside and let it happen.

3 thoughts on “Forget Expensive Spokespeople, Try a Passionate Spokesblogger”

  1. You are quite right, Rohit. What I’d like to see is a big company do the following experiment:

    1. Take all your Customer Service staff
    2. Give half of them blogs and an internet connection and keep the other half in your call centre answering the phones
    3. After six months, survey the customers they have dealt with and find out which are happiest
    4. Do the same survey with the employees

    I have my suspicions as to what the results would be.


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About Rohit

A keynote speaker on trends, innovation, marketing, storytelling and diversity.

Rohit Bhargava is on a mission to inspire more non-obvious thinking in the world. He is the #1 Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of eight books and is widely considered one of the most entertaining and original speakers on disruption, trends and marketing in the world.

Rohit has been invited to keynote events in 32 countries … and over the past year, given more than 100 virtual talks from his home studio. He previously spent 15 years as a marketing strategist at Ogilvy and Leo Burnett and also teaches marketing and storytelling as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

He loves the Olympics, actively hates cauliflower and is a proud dad of boys.

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