Monday, February 22, 2010

Citizen Marketers

In chapter one of Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba’s book, Citizen Marketers: When People Are the Message, they create a basis for understanding what they call citizen marketers. The authors explain citizen marketers and the breakdown of the different types of citizen marketers. The chapter creates a great basis in order to successfully understand the book material.

What are citizen marketers? According to McConnell and Huba, “citizen marketers create what could be considered marketing and advertising content on behalf of people, brands, products, or organizations” (4). They go on to explain that citizen marketers are unique individuals dedicated to benefiting people, organizations, etcetera. These individuals are not necessarily trained in marketing or advertising fields but act solely out of passion for their particular cause. McConnell and Huba describe citizen marketers as individuals that are “driven by passion, creativity, and a sense of duty” (4).

Citizen marketers are not exactly individuals that are easy to come by. The authors explain citizen marketers as individuals that are out of the norm and not the average consumer. However, citizen marketers will often bring others together to achieve the desired outcome. McConnell and Huba interestingly divide citizen marketers into 4 different categories: Filters, Fanatics, Facilitators, and Firecrackers. These categories are known as the four Fs (5). The authors describe the different categories and pair each with thorough examples. We will take a closer look at the four Fs to better understand the roles of citizen marketers.

The Filters: as represented by their name, the Filters are typically known as information gatherers. The Filters will gather various pieces of media from each available medium. The Filters will cover most of the journalistic work and remain up to date with news.

The Fanatics: base majority of their work on analysis of gathered information. The Fanatics are considered “true believers and evangelists” (10). The Fanatics will typically cheer on their chosen organization or individual, but will also criticize when mistakes are made.

The Facilitators: will gather people together in different mediums. The Facilitators, mirroring their name, will gather a community to represent their specific cause. McConnell and Huba compare the Facilitators to “mayors of online towns” (17) due to their contributions in bringing a large number of people together.

The Firecrackers: typically attracts a large audience through their efforts or actions. Firecrackers are known as the “one-hit wonders of citizen marketers” (19). People tend to draw interest from what a Firecracker marketer presents to the public, which results in a large audience. However, not all Firecrackers seek out publicity. It is possible for a Firecracker marketer to reach overnight celebrity for a personal video, webpage, song, etcetera due to public interest.

Overall, chapter 1, ‘Filters, Fanatics, Facilitators, and Firecrackers’, the authors informed the reader about citizen marketers and how each type can specifically affect an audience. Each type of citizen marketer has a different role in achieving a goal for a specific entity. The chapter offered an understanding of how these seemingly average people can set out to achieve a specific goal in society and achieve it. I find it so interesting to see how people can set out with an outrageous goal and lack of tools, and overpower large corporations. It truly shines a light on the power of creativity and passion.

To view more information about the book click here: Citizen Marketers: When People Are the Message

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