Conversation to drive shopping – an experiement II

It has taken me too long to get to my promise of reading this book. My mistake, as if you have even a vague interest in how to ensure your brand is a success in the future then I recommend you give this a read. Joseph Jeffe (who also wrote Life after the 30-second spot) has set up this experiment to use new marketing to prove the power of new marketing. In taking part, I owe everyone a review of the book.

I’m not sure Joseph’s writing style is to everyone’s taste but the fundamental point about the change in the landscape
brands now play on and the need to re-think how we engage people is
well made and an important contribution to modern marketing. So what did I learn from the read, given that the purpose of this blog is to host a discussion? Well, this is a book about change, evolution, adaptation and experimentation.It reminded me of how we all change our mentality when we cross the threshold of our places of work. We have conversation outside the building – inside, we tend to push out reams of (often) meaningless communication in the eyes of the intended recipient.

That to partake in a conversation, you have to have something interesting to contribute – a challenge for many. How many brands in the world could hold an interesting conversation at a BBQ? Or in the aisle of a supermarket? And it’s not about just opening your mouth, you have to have something to say.

That many brands do not understand the notion of audience – otherwise the aggressive or de-humanizing stance that some advertisers take would be less prevalent. Remember guys, we’re all audience to something, we all talk.

That whatever we do, brands are increasingly bouncing in the market (spoofing, generating echoes) – or they should be looking to do so. Joseph talks of the ‘movement of parts of the conversation that alter and shift every time they hit the dirt’. (Although I felt the notion of a Chief Conversation Officer as a new role slightly sinister for some reason).

The importance of listening in conversation. Something we’ve been doing bunch of work on in the Insight & Strategy Group here in Denver.

There are also some useful and funny stories of brands slapping their
customer’s for using them. I’m sure they won’t bring the organizations down, but they provide useful learning for others.

The conversation carries on in a number of places. First off there is the site that accompanies the book, there is Joseph’s excellent blog (and his podcasts are also worth a listen) which Morgan is an advocate of, and you can also join the Facebook group. I have also posted a similar review here.

And if you happen to be in close geographic proximity to me, or you’re first to comment and ask, I’d be happy to lend you my (slightly dog-eared) copy. But I do suggest you buy yourself a copy for your own bookshelf from