Marketing Bloggers Publish 'The Age Of Conversation'

In what is billed as a unique publication--a book by bloggers--The Age of Conversation offers marketers advice on ways to engage consumers through conversation, although it makes a strong case for less talking and more listening on marketers' part. The "blook" is out today.

More than 100 400-word essays, many focused on brand management, have been compiled by two stalwart marketing bloggers, Drew McLellan, who heads McLellan Marketing Group in Des Moines, Iowa, and Gavin Heaton, interactive director at marketing agency Creata, in Sidney, Australia. Both their blogs are among the Top 25 most-read.

"The marketing industry is abuzz about how the citizen marketers are changing the landscape," says McLellan. "This book captures that new phenomenon."

"We've been amazed at the variety of approaches that have been taken, and with hardly any duplication or overlap," says Heaton. "This book explores the art of conversation and how it is changing the face of marketing from virtually every angle possible." In "Visualizing the Threads," blogger Julie Fleischer notes: "In the beginning, advertising was a conversation. Betty Crocker was ... invented so that women could relate to and interact with the brand. Her radio show was the highest rated in the land. Betty spoke to consumers and they spoke to her. They asked questions, she answered them. Together, these threads invented the brand."



True, as Ed Cotton points out in "Seven Ways to Start a Conversation," much of Madison Avenue "spent the last century using one-way communication to push products at people." Cotton counsels advertisers to "grab some humility and learn the art of conversation." He offers a seven-step method.

Fleischer and Cotton and the other 101 marketing bloggers were invited by McLellan and Heaton to commit to writing essays about conversation. The latter had set what they thought would be an impossible goal--100 bloggers. Within seven days, they had commitments from 103 in 24 U.S. states and eight other nations.

The book is available in a downloadable e-version and in hardcover and softcover. All proceeds will be donated to Variety, the international children's charity.

Orders are being taken at

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