Thursday, March 10, 2005

"Open Source Marketing" - model of the future?

James Cherkoff of the blog "Collaborative Marketing" has come up with an intriguing new manifesto for ChangeThis! (as well as a supplemental page at his website) concerning what he's calling "open source marketing." The basic concept is simple, yet inherently threatening to most traditional advertisers - that as long as companies are starting to adopt some of this new communicative technology for spreading the word about their business (blogs, RSS feeds, podcasts, etc), they should be adopting the mindset and attitude of the typical blogger as well. This means several things that I'm sure are immediately alarming when most businesses first hear them: letting customers be in from the beginning on helping to build a new brand; eliminating all "press-release-speak" from press releases, and indeed to skip press releases most of the time altogether and simply announce things in plain language at the blog; and understanding that customers are inherently smarter than you, and will easily see past any fast ones you try to pull over them, so you might as well not try pulling them over in the first place.

I wholeheartedly welcome this manifesto, and think it makes a lot of sense for most businesses out there. (I'll definitely be using these theories, for example, in my arts center here in Chicago, once it's up and running.) It'll be interesting, I think, to see if any traditional businesses will take the manifesto's lessons to heart as well. (Thanks to Site-9 for pointing out Mr. Cherkoff's web-based supplement to this manifesto, and to Mike Bawden for pointing out Site-9's entry in the first place.)