This morning, a box full of copies of The ClueTrain Manifesto arrived here at Underscore Central Command, a few days earlier than expected. Good. I had the idea to send copies to clients a while ago. But I stalled, convincing myself that marketing directors, VPs of marketing and brand managers would intuitively gravitate toward the website (the entire text of the book is available online). Fat chance.
As I've been talking to folks about the underlying principles of Conversational Marketing, I find that not many of them have read TCM. I figure sending them their own copy to read will get them as juiced about Conversational Marketing as I am. So I bought a bunch of copies for clients, potential clients and friends of the agency.
I have a feeling that we'll be firing on all cylinders soon, when clients read the book and combine what they get out of TCM with the principles of the citizen publishing movement I've been coaching them on. I can't wait.
I think reading the book and drawing one's own conclusions on it will help undo some of the damage done by overenthusiastic ClueTrainers continually chanting "Evolve or Die!" in harsh tones over the course of the past few years. That's the one negative about TCM - in my opinion, quite a few folks got waaaaaay too standoffish about how they relayed the underlying principles of TCM back to corporations and marketing people. I vividly remember kilobyte upon kilobyte of e-mail flames volleying back and forth between me and folks like Eric Norlin, mainly because we were getting on one another's nerves with how we made our respective cases. The relationship between the converted and the old school marketing folk never should have been one characterized by condescension or an air of superiority. Let's just say I think all of us could have benefitted from speaking credibly in respectful tones rather than in the harsh rallying cries of violent revolution.
In any case, I think a few of the more nimble marketers with open minds are beginning to come around. Good. Let's encourage it.