Monday, December 10, 2007

Book recommendation: Join the conversation

A former colleague of mine (Joseph Jaffe) has published his 2nd book on what he calls “new marketing”. Joseph is often quoted in the business press and is a thought leader in the marketing field. His first book was titled “Life After the 30 second spot” commenting on what businesses should do now that the 40+ year old 30 second spot is dying out in effectiveness in the age of TiVo. The book was a top seller on Amazon — one of the top selling business books the year it was published.

The next “new marketing” book that’s been published reflects the explosion of social networks, empowered consumers and what has been called “conversational marketing”. His book “Join the Conversation” is applicable whether you are a business or a public official. The book has been as high as the #2 top selling business book since it was released. Recently, many a business has suffered by thinking they shouldn’t enter the fray and engage in the “conversation”. People no longer accept being ignored by businesses as they have in the past. Companies like Dell suffered mightily when they ignored the conversation (Google “Dell Hell” to see an example) and have subsequently fundamentally changed how they approach their customer base.

Here’s a blurb from the book cover…

Book Description
With the continued fragmentation of the media and proliferation of media options, the balance of power has shifted from the marketer to the individual. In Join the Conversation, Jaffe discusses the changing role of the consumer and how marketers must adapt by joining the rich, deep and meaningful conversation already in progress. This book reveals what marketers must do to become a welcome and invited part of the dialogue, and how to leverage and integrate the resulting partnership in ways that provide win-win situations for businesses, brands and lives.

From the Inside Flap

Throughout the history of advertising and marketing, communicating with consumers has been a one-way street. Marketers produced and disseminated messages and customers consumed them whether they liked them or not. Today, every person sees thousands of advertisements a day—and totally ignores the vast majority of them. Yet, companies still spend billions of dollars each year yelling at customers who don’t want to hear it.

In this follow-up to his bestselling book, Life After the 30-Second Spot, author Joseph Jaffe explains how marketers must adapt to the brave new world of the Internet, social media and networking, consumer-generated content, blogs, and podcasts by joining the rich, deep, and meaningful customer conversations already in progress.

Consumers today are active participants in the advertising process, not silent targets and sitting ducks for one-way communication. Forget about the medium being the message; today, consumers are both the medium and the message. The future is bright for organizations that can join the ongoing dialog and leverage their customer relationships to build win-win situations for businesses, brands, and individuals. Through the power of community, dialog, and partnership, marketers finally have the power to talk with consumers rather than at them.

Traditional marketing is a red flag smart consumers can see from a mile away; an outdated idea lurching toward them with the same predictable exhortations and tired come-ons. They’ve had enough, and it’s time to change the dynamic. When marketing is a conversation, marketers can get to know their consumers as individuals, not as silent members of a faceless demographic subsection. Join the Conversation uses real-world brands and companies, real case studies, and real conversations to reveal how to talk to customers—and how to get them talking about you.

It’s time for marketing and marketers to become more meaningful and authentic, or they will both become obsolete. Totally practical and brilliantly revolutionary, Join the Conversation reveals the future of marketing and how you and your company can march boldly into it.

Join the conversation today at or through Jaffe’s daily blog and podcast, Jaffe Juice (


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