I never set out to be a marketer. Like many artists, I want to create stuff simply for the act of creating. If people like it and enjoy it, all the better.
Increasingly, though, I find myself learning and thinking more and more about the fact that even great things can go unnoticed without the proper marketing. I've spent the last few months working to increase the exposure for The Alternative Music Show (formerly The GlitchCast), Felt Up, and other ventures.
I read the Cluetrain about a year and a half ago and it finally opened my eyes a bit. I didn't want or need flashy catchphrases and slick sites. I didn't need carefully crafted, triple approved messaging. I needed interaction with the community. I needed to get it out there, and to help the work speak for itself.
Tara Hunt's Pinko Marketing idea cuts right to the heart of that, and even goes a step further, asserting that it's not even so much about connecting with an existing community (although that's part of it), it's about giving the community an idea and then getting out of the way.
Hugh Macleod of gapingvoid.com is doing a great job of this with Stormhoek wine. He's seeding the blogging community with ideas and then letting them do their thing. They're looking for a new bottle design, so he's commissioned the community for ideas.
Not only did many of them submit interesting designs, he's also gotten some incredible advice:
...Hell you could commission a winning artist to do a run of three. A wine bottle triptych. Oh I'd buy a full set every time, just to sit on the shelf and look pretty. Actual wine drinkers having a browse for a new drop would be pretty narrow not to buy into art/design wine thing at least once -and then the drop is so good they're hooked right?
Hugh asks that if you like his art (he posts tons of witty drawings at gapingvoid.com every day) that you simply buy stormhoek wine. He gets paid based on the number of cases that ship, so he makes some money, and you get a great bottle of wine for your contribution. I'm already going to buy at least 1 bottle. Hell, if Stormhoek was suddenly the Threadless of wines, you can bet I'd be buying the 3 set triptych whenever a design caught my fancy.