Marketing and Communications for Intelligent Crowds
– By Alexis Mons, VP Strategy at Emakina.FR –
In praise of tension: marketing and communication for smart mobs
All bloggers ask themselves whether they could become authors one day, and make the switch from columns to books. I confess that this has been on the horizon for me for a long time, but it took the friendly pressure of FYP Editions for me to make the leap. And I’m glad that they convinced me to do it with them.
So today you’ll find in your nearest bookshop and online Eloge de la tension : le marketing et la communication à l’épreuve des foules intelligentes (In praise of tension: marketing and communication for smart mobs).
It’s an essay that brings together two years of my thinking, but also practical experiments conducted in the field. The point of departure was in May 2008 on the Emakina.FR blog, when I wrote: “After Web 2, not Web 3, but a changing world”. Almost five years later, the world has changed and it continues to evolve at great speed, in a context of connected masses and constant innovation. This is done through “smart mobs” as defined by Howard Rheingold in his invaluable book, “Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution”.
I am trying, in fact, to answer the question that Rheingold left hanging in 2002, of whether technology would render those emergent crowds conscious and intelligent, or enslaved and manipulated. As always, the answer is a shade of gray. The crowd is self-aware. It made revolution at the four corners of the globe and it knows how to become a mobilised force, when it wants to be one. It allows us to play with it, as long as we don’t transgress its fundamental rights. This is the first conclusion that I draw.
It remains to be seen how to deal with this situation; to take into account marketplace competition and continuous innovation; to measure the room for manoeuvre; and above all what space there is for positioning and strategy. So, in 100 pages, I hope to give you some insights and share with you what I have had the opportunity to test and evaluate. It is all about mindset, but also very practical aspects of driving strategy.
They say that to write is to suffer and it is, I concede, a painful exercise. It is hard to get started and after a few hours of writing, you feel exhausted. This is just an essay, and so I draw from this experience a great deal of humility and admiration for authors. It has also given me a renewed desire to post here, especially on the discussions and exchanges that I have already had as a result of publication.
Let me add a big “thank you” to all of you, because your comments and feedback on the “first forays” which I offered you online since 2004, are also, and above all, the source of this book.