Excellent points, entertaining and expertly stated
Jun 23, 2009
I was lucky enough to meet Tara Hunt at the WordCamp 2009 conference in San Francisco, and heard her 30-minute piece on 'Whuffie'. Apart from being an engaging presenter with a clear perspective of her subject, she makes excellent points that are crystallized in the book. I'd thought about some of the ideas prior to hearing her but never really formed an over-arching opinion of what it meant - this book convincingly cements some of those concepts.
Rather than summarize the book in detail, the fundamental concept is that marketing to your customer has changed. The long-entrenched system of throwing money at marketers to create ads that scream for our over-stretched attention is dead: we see this in the death of newspaper ads and the collapse in the cost of TV advertising. We just get too much noise with too much disinformation to be interested, and we don't believe the messages. In the new model, we trust opinions of friends and we like companies that aren't afraid to hear criticism and deal with it, and she gives several excellent examples of this. This is 'Whuffie' - social capital that you can trade for business.
Many people I've heard talking around this topic tend to slip into vagaries at about this point, but Tara Hunt has solid hands-on practical advice to help generate Whuffie. Clearly, there's no definitive 12-step plan for every company, but there are ideas that are employable in every business. My wife's a Marketing Director and has already started to use some of the advice in the book, and her opinion is that it's *transformational* in terms of customer relationships and staking your place clearly from competitors, compared with barely incremental in traditional advertising.
If you've had a nagging feeling for a while that social media is changing everything, this book is valuable in understanding how to engage your customers and create this social capital that allows your business to flourish. I just wish it wasn't called Whuffie, but at least it makes the point memorable when trying to enthuse your co-workers.
The Whuffie Factor is a breakthrough book, providing the strategic map and specific tactics for success in the lucrative, but strange and elusive world of online communities.
Table of Contents:
How to be a social capitalist -- The power of community marketing -- Turn the bullhorn around and create continuous conversations with customers -- Building whuffie by listening to and integrating feedback -- Become part of the community you serve -- Depositing into and withdrawing from your whuffie account -- Be notable : eleven ways to create amazing customer experiences -- Embrace chaos -- Find your higher purpose -- Whuffie IRL*, *in real life.