It can be a challenge to get around and understand the new marketing principals as the first millennial decade draws to a close. Some massively expensive models still work, sort of (yes, you can get a big 'hit' if you have the money to blow on Superbowl advertising) and some tried and true methodologies work better than ever, and are even less expensive than before -- like really WOWing your clients with great service and encouraging positive word-of-mouth promotion and repeat business.
So that is where this fascinating blog entry at Zen Habits (guest post from Brian Clark of Copyblogger) fits into the story. I think you'll enjoy the writing style, and rather clear and explicit message.
Once you've read the story, go to the Uncopyright link on the blog page. So, yes, I'm lifting the picture used in the article without any worry that I'm violating anyone's copyright.
Finally, go to the library, your local bookstore, or (if you wish me to earn a four per cent commission) Amazon.ca, to purchase Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, and you'll get a better idea of what is happening here.
Authors Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams point out how conventional barriers are breaking down; how the new culture of openness, sharing and collaboration are turning conventional business hierarchies on their heads, and how you need to understand these processes to succeed in the new era of business and marketing.
Of course, Tapscott and Williams' book is copyrighted -- as are our printed publications. But we have no objection to companies featured in the special profiles "lifting" the material and using it -- ideally with ads intact -- on their websites, e-letters, and copied into marketing materials and brochures (and we don't charge extra for reprints).
I don't worry so much about copyright for this blog, my newsletter and other electronic stuff (including our new websites, which we expect to be ready within three months). If you want to take stuff and use it, go ahead. I welcome source credit and linkages, of course, and might get a little annoyed (and claim copyright privileges) if you use the material in a manner that would cause offence to me and my business -- but you'd have to be pretty thick headed to try anything like that.
Most of all, however, I think the attitudes in the Internet space relate to the way we do business with friends and current clients on a day-to-day basis; we don't worry about whether they share their experience with friends, we welcome direct and immediate feedback (even if it is negative), and we communicate on wholesome, convincing and natural levels. In essence, the story here is that the new technologies really enhance and bring to a world scale the 'old' things you would do locally, day, to day, at your own business.
That is why Spam is so destructive, incidentally. Imagine someone at your door dozens of times each day bugging you to sell you something. Yuk. But equally, imagine a cubicle-mate at work, or a good client who you are currently collaborating with on a project. You can pick up the phone, or email, or send a text message, or just 'drop by' without intruding and connect the dots and build your relationship. With the Internet, you simply use and extend the traditional close and relationship-building models to a higher and more global level.