Martin Atkins: How to Create Offline Word of Mouth — live from Word of Mouth Supergenius

11:15 — Bergen Anderson introduces Tour:Smart author, Martin Atkins.

11:16 — Strategies to create offline WOM.

11:16 — Before we get offline, online. Practice Japanese table manners online and off! One of these is that you don’t pour your own drink. How do you get someone to pour your own drink online?

11:17 — A tweet is the new fax. Not how, but what? It’s not how we’re delivering the message but what the message is.

11:18 — You can start a meaningless conversation via fax. (Home taping is killing the music industry!) You can parody a meaningless campaign via fax.

11:19 — Be honest, be real. Don’t be meaningless. Do you know you can buy twitter friends. But they won’t come to your event or talk about your product. So they’re meaningless.

11:20 — Don’t be an asshole! Be the nicest to the person with the least reason for you to be nice to. Very simple things can be nice and will create a bit of groovyness in their world.

11:21 — Aim low, get high!   It means be humble and you’ll go far!  How can we put 20,000 fans in a stadium.  “I have no clue.”  But if there are two people on a couch, we can make friends with them, if we’re not horrible smelly assholes. If you make friends with those two people many times, you can get 20,000 friends. If you look too high, you’re going to miss the people on the couch who can begin your 20,000.

11:22 — Martin was at the Great Wall of China in 2000. You can stand off at a distance or realize it’s just a long, amazing pile of old bricks!  If you start your own pile tomorrow, 8 months from now, you may have a bit of a wall growing (the “squeakquel” to the Great wall). Your friends will say “you’re out of your mind!” but will help.  If everything’s on the business plan, who gives a f*ck!

11:24 — It’s not about having huge earthshattering Seth Godin ideas, it’s about absorbing other people’s strategies. “Like a child eating crayons off the floor, we want to see what comes out the other end.”

11:25 — In 1967 Jimi Hendrix left his tapes in a car. Once you see something done, you’ll see it done again.  So Apple’s iPhone leak may have been a hoax.

11:26 — Phone rings. It’s an old mobile phone! Always have the greatest new technology. If in doubt, do the opposite.

11:27 — Laugh at a funeral. It’s easier to think of the worst thing to do than the best.

11:28 — Small is the new huge. Bands often choose large venues over small bars. But small bars are usually better. Either sell it out, or lock the doors so it looks like something huge is happening. We’re not looking for Bruce Willis driving a car through a window, we’re looking for the “fart in the elevator.”

11:29 — Vidal Sassoon the heck out of it! Repeat, rinse, repeat, rinse.

11:30 — Radiohead had their customer’s  pay what they felt like paying. Panera now doing the same thing, pay what you feel for a croissant. Cross pollenate ideas from other industries.

11:31 — Do something boring and make it amazing. Join bobsled thing, or join Jamaican bobsled team!

11:32 — “We stole the idea of Tupperware parties,”  Saul Colt/Freshbooks. Do a remix of someone else’s idea.

11:32 — Not saying you’ll come up with Seth Godin-esque ideas, but you will get some amusing ideas. Pour gasoline on the sparks that exist. Be surprising and shocking  (Slide that says, “masturbation” but you can’t really see the word). Tony Hsieh had the same slide, but he pulled the whole slide when he found out Martin had it.

11:33 — Make cool shit! Invest what you would have spent on advertising on cool stuff. PIL’s first album was put into a metal can—it was cool packaging that created great WOM.

11:34 — Do it yourself—don’t wait for permission.

11:34 — A group at SXSW had their bandmate typing things on bags they were using to give out schwag.

11:35 — Martin made a scratch and sniff 7-inch single. It smells like blueberry.

11:35 — Moldover did an album with songs written in circuitry with a built in light sensitive theremin. Sold 500 at over $50 a piece.

11:36 — Starbucks researched scents and found blueberry was the one most people liked. A hotel has branded scent with ginger and lemongrass. So Martin made a blueberry scratch and sniff hoping that people will inexplicably buy his record. (Throws muffins into crowd). “If you get hit in the head with a muffin, twitter about it.”

11:38 — Don’t grow up, stay curious! Find him at Twitter @Marteeeen

Q & A

There’s a guy who got back from Iraq in January—Martin gave him the feeling of barracks again. And thanked him for it!

Love this live coverage? It’s all thanks to the amazing Tish Grier.

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