IMPORTANT MEMO TO CEOS From Michael Hewitt-Gleeson
wombatbook.pdf pages 22 - 25 of 256

Since I first wrote NewSell in 1984, two unique and very big things have happened. Unique because nothing like them have ever happened before in history; very big because they have created brand new multi-billion dollar global industries with vast potential. Both have profoundly impacted global business and will continue to do. These two things are:

  • the world wide web with its creation of e-commerce, and

  • the mapping of the human genome and the creation of biotechnology.

I want to begin with a word of warning to CEOs about the Internet and the whole new ballgame of e-commerce.

While CEOs admit that the Internet has an impact on the reputation of their company, very few are doing anything about it. That’s the conclusion of one of the largest surveys of CEOs’ attitudes to corporate reputation conducted by Chief Executive magazine. Of the 600 CEOs and senior managers interviewed, less than half had a deliberate Internet strategy for managing their corporate image.

More than 60 per cent of CEOs were very concerned about negative word-of-mouth but only 11 per cent actually monitor the Net to understand what is being said about their companies and their brands. Forty per cent said their biggest concern was about unhappy customers venting their dissatisfaction online. Twenty-five per cent were concerned about both ex-employees and current employees using the Internet to criticise their companies. It’s a virtual jungle out there and many companies, even big ones, are not surviving. Of the Fortune 500 class of 1974, only 22 were still around in 2004.

In the context of how to survive and grow in the world-wide darwinian marketplace, I want to begin this book with these fundamental ‘wake-up and smell the coffee’ points. Some of these thoughts were inspired after reading The Cluetrain Manifesto:

  • Darwinian marketing is a battle of ideas not a battle of products.

  • Owning an idea in the customer’s mind over a longer period of time is the #1 goal of Darwinian marketing.

  • It’s better to be first in the mind than first in the media.

  • It’s better for your idea to be a word-of-mouth than an advertisement.

  • If your customers are not replicating themselves by word-of-mouth you have little chance of surviving on the Internet.

  • A market is an idea-pool. A market is an idea exchange among human beings, receiving and exchanging their ideas by word-of-mouth.

  • The Internet is a wired idea-pool. Your company intranet is a wired idea-pool.

  • Wired idea-pools are much faster and therefore much smarter than traditional markets.

  • The current balance of ideas in the online idea-pool is often the opposite of what appears in the traditional mass media.

  • No union can organise knowledge-workers the way the idea-pool of a company’s intranet allows the workers to organise themselves.

  • There are two concurrent idea-pools: one inside the company via the intranet and one with the market via the Internet. These two idea-pools eventually spill into each other.

  • Your knowledge-workers talk to your customers in their own way every day.

  • Via the Internet and the intranet, customers and employees are using word-of-mouth to exchange ideas in an independent and powerful new way.

  • Word-of-mouth means swapping jokes by email, opinions by voicemail, gossip by SMS and argument by all kinds of human interaction sometimes above the radar more often below it.

  • Interactive word-of-mouth is compelling to other humans in a way which is not possible from vendors in the mass media, yet many CEOs still squander their marketing budgets on traditional mass media in the traditional way.

  • The idea-pool has all the ideas of all the companies and whether the news is good or bad they can infect anyone by word-of-mouth.

  • Companies who contribute poorly to the idea-pool find the markets are often ridiculing their ideas.

  • Vendors who offer better ideas will survive better in the darwinian marketplace.

  • The wired idea-pool, even at its worst, is more compelling than most business meetings or trade shows and certainly more intimate than corporate advertising campaigns.

  • To traditional oldsell corporations, the wired ideapool may appear chaotic but it is organising much faster than they are and evolving with much better tools and many more ideas.

  • The wired idea-pool is linking people to each other – peer2peer – 24/7. It’s not waiting for those who are left behind.

  • In darwinian marketing, your reputation as an attractive and innovative idea-fountain is everything. It’s your survival advantage in the ideapool. Protect it at all costs.

  • In darwinian marketing, attractive bait ideas that bring people to you are useful and ideas that gain attention are very powerful ideas.

  • Ideas that show generosity are attractive to people and will keep them near you.

  • Ideas that appeal to the patience or forbearance of humans do not survive up against ideas that appeal to people’s self-interest and to their fantasies.

And this is just the beginning . . .

Return to About Author and Contents Index

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Introduction --- pdf page 11

NOTE: On Acronyms and Repetition --- pdf page 19

Important Memo to CEOS – pdf page 22

Go To Chapter 1 -- pdf Pages 26 - 35

This html-coded online version of the Wombat Final 15/5/06 9:12 AM -- wombatbook.pdf, was prepared by Darlene Sartore with some minor adaptations and color texting, for use only by course presenters certified by Ideal Network Academy. Use permission herein granted from author Michael Hewitt-Gleeson on March 5, 2007.

Hardcopy book and pdf format sources NO longer online, might be available from links at
WOMBAT SELLING: How to sell by Word of Mouth
Author: Michael Hewitt-Gleeson (Hardie Grant Books) July 2006.

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