Chapter by chapter
Chapter 1: Filters, Fanatics, Facilitators, and Firecrackers
People who create content on behalf of products, brands, companies or other people can be classified into four different categories: Filters, Fanatics, Facilitators and Firecrackers. The 4 F's. From the professional journalist whose part-time hobby of maintaining the Starbucks Gossip blog (Filter), to the blogger who loves McDonalds and wants the company simply to be "awesome" (Fanatic), to the car owner who maintains an online community for fans of the Mini Cooper (Facilitator), to the teenager who unwittingly drove up sales of a webcam brand with her impromptu video demonstration on YouTube (Firecracker), the work of the citizen marketer is varied but the categories are often remarkably consistent.
Chapter 2: The 1 Percenters
Citizen marketers don't do what most people do. They live and work on the edges of mass culture. Metaphorically, they are a bit like the members of an outlaw motorcycle gang: they live on the fringes from everyone else, but their own sub-cultures are marked by strong-as-steel bonds. Like some outlaw motorcyclists who wear a "1%" patch over their heart to signify their disdain for the norms of mass culture, so too do most citizen marketers. Our research into the percentage of people who create content at a democratized forum like Wikipedia found a curious similarity in percentages, too: typically, only about 1 percent of all visitors will create content for it. They are the 1 Percenters. Their numbers are small but they can be highly influential. As the creators of content, they are also the shapers of culture... from its edges.
Chapter 3: The Democratization of Everything
As we shape our tools, our tools shape us, Marshall McLuhan once wrote. Never has that been more true in the early years of the 21st century as technology trends fuel the rise of the citizen marketer. From the explosive growth of broadband connections and the total number of people online in the world (over 1 billion), to the growth of digital cameras to the proliferation of cellphones, today's common technologies have crossed a threshold of usability and affordability. People blog, podcast and create online community forums because it's easy.
Chapter 4: Everyone is a Publisher; Everyone is a Broadcaster
The seismic earthquakes rocking the economic foundations of traditional media are caused by the clannish nature of social media networks. The audiences of traditional media networks have found that the two-way and multiple-way communication inherent within social media are considerably more engaging that the one-way broadcast mode, causing a fundamental redistribution of audience attention. But what is social media, exactly, and what are its tools that enable everyday people to become publishers and broadcasters? With the Internet as their worldwide distribution platform, citizen marketers are building audiences that rival local newspapers and cable television shows.
Chapter 5: Hobbies and Altruism
Why, exactly, would someone spend months, if not years, dedicating himself to creating content and building community around a commercial product, brand, company or person as a volunteer? Because his work is a hobby, and hobbies are fun. But deeper than that, hobbies grant participants the permission to consider their work as recreation while it subconsciously works as ideological re-creation. Their hobby replicates the skills of the workplace and adds value that may be lacking from it. We explain their "market-helping behaviors" and hypothesize the reasons for their work. We introduce you to several citizen marketers and get their perspective on why they do what they do, whether it's trying to resuscitate a deceased brand of soda, to ongoing promotion of a black notebook made by a tiny Italian company.
Chapter 6: The Power of One
Why does the work of some citizen marketers spread more than others? We examine how citizen-create memes catch fire and explode into mainstream media. We delve into how influential citizen marketers are driving sales for the objects of their affection.
Chapter 7: How to Democratize Your Business
The foundations of social media share many similarities to the foundations of democracy: Freedom of speech and self-expression, the right to assemble, the right to vote. Some businesses that create a democratized culture, where the community has a say in outcomes, find that a culture of community participation drives word of mouth and a strong sense of loyalty. We examine several examples of the "3 C's" of democratizing participation with citizen marketers by examining efforts from Converse, Yahoo, the Beastie Boys, Lego, Discovery Communications, Intuit and Microsoft.
Where is all of this leading to? How should organizations respond to the rise of amateur culture? One solution might be to add a fifth "P" to the famous 4 "p's" of marketing: Participation.
Read an excerpt
Brandweek magazine features an excerpt of "Citizen Marketers" that tells the story of Van and Casey Niestat, two brothers in New York City who launched a guerilla campaign against Apple Computer and its-then battery replacement policy for iPods. The brothers filmed their exploits of stenciling over iPod posters that had lined the streets of Manhattan. Their film created a stir: It was downloaded over a million times, spread all manner of buzz and led to a number of appearances in the traditional media -- all of which helped validate their campaign. The excerpt theorizes why it and other citizen marketer efforts can resonate with people. Read the excerpt here
iMedia magazine has an excerpt of "Citizen Marketers" that outlines the four types of citizen marketers with supporting examples and stories. Read the excerpt here.