Everything That Rises Must Converge
SXSW 2000 Interactive Festival
Gonzo MarketingMod: Will Kreth (Bizworker.com)
A presentation by Christopher Locke
Author Christopher Locke has worked for MCI, IBM, and Meckler media -- but don't call him a company man. This gruff, ponytailed bear does not suffer fools gladly, and the pinheaded suits that have been running the business world for the past couple of centuries are Locke's favorite targets. His book The Clue Train Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual (co-authored with David Weinberger, Doc Searls, and Rick Levine) is a wake-up call to corporate America: Change or perish.
The essence of "gonzo marketing" is summed up in the first Clue Train thesis -- "Markets are conversations." Just as the marketplace was the social hub in ancient cities, the Internet is now the place where people can exchange information, human being to human being, without interference from corporate pitch men. He envisions a world where top-down mass marketing dies like the dinosaurs and is replaced by vibrant, "bottom-up micromarkets" in which informed consumers tell corporations exactly what they want. If the corporations want to survive, they had best respond rapidly and in a human voice.
While some in the audience were skeptical of Locke's vision of an "open source," honest world of marketing, his ideas were compelling and provocative, and that's good enough for Locke. If markets are conversations, he inspired some brisk trade indeed.