The New Rules of Marketing and PR:
How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing, & Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly.
David Meerman Scott. Wiley, 2007. 275 pp.
“Standard marketing education still talks about the 4 Ps of marketing—product, place, price, and promotion—as being the most important things. That’s nonsense,” says David Meerman Scott. To succeed on the Web under the new rules of marketing and PR, he says, companies need to focus on their audiences first. When you understand your audiences, then begin to create compelling Web content to reach them.
This book could have been subtitled: “Content is King.” The theme runs consistently throughout its chapters.
David Meerman Scott maintains the site www.WebInkNow.com. For most of his career he worked in the online news business. He was vice president of marketing at NewsEdge Corporation and held executive positions in an electronic information division of Knight-Ridder. As such, he’s uniquely qualified to critique old-school PR practices in light of the realities of the Web.
So what is the best way for PR people and marketers to communicate directly with their audiences? Learn and use new Web tools and techniques. Scott says he is continually surprised that “only about 20 to 30 percent of marketing and PR people read blogs.” And when he asks how many people publish their own blogs, “the number is always less than 10 percent.”
Try to apply the old rules of advertising and media relations to the Web and you’ll fail fail miserably, he says. That’s because we’re now in an environment governed by new rules. So marketers must shift their thinking from mainstream marketing to the masses, to a strategy of reaching vast numbers of underserved audiences via the Web.
Part I of the book explains how the Web has changed the rules of marketing and PR. Part II introduces and details each of the various media including blogs, podcasts, and viral campaigns. Part III offers “how-to” information and an action plan for using the new rules in your company.
This entire book is about search engine marketing, Scott says. Web marketing is about delivering useful content at just at the precise moment that a buyer needs it. “Organizations gain credibility and loyalty with buyers through content. Smart marketers now think and act like publishers in order to create and deliver content targeted directly at their audience.”
And how to reach those audiences? Create many different microsites—with carefully thought-out “landing pages” aimed at each target constituency. He emphasizes throughout the book to forget for a while your products and services. Focus your complete attention on the buyers of your products or those who will donate, subscribe, join, or apply.
And forget about the old school practice of “spending tens of thousands of dollars per month on a media relations program that tries to convince a handful or reporters at selected magazines, newspapers, and TV stations to cover your company.” Instead, reach the New Influencers: the bloggers, online news sites, micro-publications, public speakers, analysts, and consultants that reach the specific audiences that are looking for what you have to offer.
Case studies of people using the New Rules to their advantage include Gerard Vroomen, who co-founded Cervelo Cycles. His web site tells cycling enthusiasts compelling stories, engages them in conversation, and entertains them. “Because he uses web content in interesting ways and sells a bunch of bikes in the process, Vroomen is a terrific marketer,” Scott says.