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Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices Paperback – Oct 17 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; New edition edition (Oct. 17 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738207691
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738207698
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 15.3 x 22.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 354 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #180,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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MARKET RESEARCH IS DEAD. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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3.7 out of 5 stars
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By roy christopher on March 14 2004
Format: Hardcover
To bring humor to a topic requires mastery beyond that of a mere expert. In Gonzo Marketing: Winning through Worst Practices, Christopher Locke exhibits a lot of things, but most of all, his hilarious wit shines bright over the often drab concepts of business. His mastery is not of how business is done best, but how it's done worst.
While his feet might be firmly planted in the box, his head is decidedly unboxed. Locke evokes Esther Dyson's aphorism 'Always make new mistakes,' inviting corporate marketers and consumers alike to realize that markets aren't clean and tidy; they're messy and ugly - quick and dirty even. His ideas don't lend themselves to conclusive be-all, end-all solutions, but to random, dangling loose ends. And that's the point really, isn't it? The fault lines in the mass mind don't divide the markets, they are the markets. Their rumbling and shifting is where Gonzo Marketing collects and analyzes its data, like a seismograph of the new economy's undulating and ever-changing landscape.
While corporations scramble to make sense of the paradigmatic wreckage of the Web, Locke sits back laughing. The Web has reconnected consumers with each other. We converse online about everything. "Markets are conversations," asserted The Cluetrain Manifesto (of which Locke was one of four co-authors), belying any established attempt to contain or coerce them. Gonzo Marketing invites business types to abandon their old ideas about markets and just join in the conversation, dammit!
Don't come 'round here looking for answers to your marketing problems. Yes, we have no new panacea for your demographic woes today. But, if you're looking for an engaging romp through - and an enlightening rant about - the way business is done in the now, Gonzo Marketing is the blinking Exit sign on the box in your mind.
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Format: Hardcover
Gonzo marketing was going to be the death of 'marketing as usual' in much the same way, I presume, that Cluetrain represented the "death of business as usual." neither happened so I guess either the world didn't listen or the author's didn't quite "get it".
Gonzo marketing is not an enjoyable read - it can be entertaining but that doesn't make it enjoyable. Just when Locke ought to settle down and actually build on an anecdote supporting his beliefs of a new framework of marketing he digresses (disingenously disappears?) into an aside and we're left wonder exactly what just happened.
The publication doesn't need to be written in dry corporate style to support it's thesis. However, it doesn't and the apparent liveliness of mass-media marketing suggests that this publicatioin was more internet evangilism than a practical means of getting your message across.
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Format: Paperback
A friend getting her Masters in marketing recommended this book to me. I have a website of columns and stories - essentially an organized blog - and have been trying to increase my visitors. That was the perspective through which I read the book: how can I use the suggestions Locke makes for business to improve their online presence to grow my own audience. While Locke doesn't focus on personal website, the book did get me thinking. As I read, I constantly had to pt the book down to jot down some new ideas.
The book got me to start thinking about who my target audience is. That's harder than it sounds, as I don't write about a specific subject, rather whatever I like. Locke recommends that companies let their employees become active in online groups about what interests them in an attempt to build credibility with these micromarkets in lieu of annoying web advertising. Effectively communicate with a plethora of micromarkets and all of a sudden the company has a significant online presence that doesn't irritate people. I followed that advice and started posting on sites that pertain to my interests. I don't blatantly promote my articles, but just participate in the conversation, figuring if someone is interested by my post he or she will click on my URL in my signature file or click on my bio, see my URL, and follow it through. Plus, I enjoy it.
Locke doesn't get too specific on his gonzo model until the next to last chapter. It covers only 20 out of 214 pages of the book. The rest of it is spent philosophizing and critiquing other forms of marketing. Did this help me? Yes. But it doesn't do much to push his model. He'd do a better job of selling it to businesses if he had a case study or two.
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Format: Paperback
I bought the book because I liked the ideas mentioned on the back cover. Reading it is a different experience, though. I find it difficult to wade through all the rambling and extract much of use out of it, and I'm having trouble finishing it because one chapter is so much like the next I keep losing my place. I'm starting to think I shoud have let myself be satisfied with the back cover; I haven't learned much since then.
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Format: Hardcover
Christopher Locke is known for his online rants against traditional corporate systems, and his last book Cluetrain was a hit with marketers looking to engage, rather than target, potential consumers. While I haven't read his rants or his previous book, I did have the dubious pleasure of receiving his new one, Gonzo Marketing, which apparently builds upon his ideas from Cluetrain, but adds more scattered filler.
Like his idol Hunter S. Thompson, Locke's writing is all over the place. Uptight suits might find his prose amusing and cutting-edge, but to me it seemed like a lot of hot air. After almost 200 pages of random etymology, philosophy, and sociology in the vein of Robert Anton Wilson, but spliced with embarrassing dad humor, he finally gets to his theory, which is that companies looking to market on the web shouldn't think about marketing. Rather, they should build personal relationships with potential consumers, but still not push their products or services, since that would still be a form of marketing (one-on-one, or personal selling). As an example, he suggests that Ford pay employees to stay home and build web sites based on their own personal interests, such as organic gardening. And instead of linking Ford to their site, Ford would link the gardening site and encourage people to visit these underwritten - but not sponsored - sites. The hope is that organic gardeners might somehow become interested in Ford's products.
While he makes some good points about consumers' repugnance of all forms of online advertising, and the overall ineffectiveness of mass communication on the web, his solution doesn't seem to hold much water or make any financial sense.
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