The Hughtrain is a project of a guy named Hugh MacLeod, who draws cartoons on the back of business cards. You can find his site here, and this is the site here for Hughtrain, writings about how to be a savvy marketer and advertiser in this day and age.

I think this guy is onto something here. What’s most interesting are his ideas on how to use blogging as a tool to enhance marketing/advertsising.

Take this, for example. Here, Hughtrain describes how his ad agency was pitching Gerber:

So what we pitched was turning their Wal-Mart shelf space into miniature “information centers”. We’d sell the products, obviously, but there would be other things as well- books, leaflets, CD-Roms etc etc. Basically, a young mother would leave Wal-Mart a lot more informed about babies than when she entered… and her shopping bags full of Gerber products. This is what I mean about “the kinetic quality” of a brand. A good brand offers immediate and obvious transformation.

If Mom doesn’t leave Wal-Mart a better informed mom than when she entered, then somewhere along the line Gerber isn’t doing its job.

Of course a good Gerber website/blog would enhance this proccess. The TV and magazine campaigns would be more informative than ‘selling’. All under the umbrella concept of “Healthy Happiness Hints”. Giving little parcels of managable information, communicated as “hints”.

My point is: the kinetic quality applies as much to package goods (baby food) as it does to media brands (The Economist, The Wall Street Journal etc). A good marketer understands this, and tries to tap into it.

In the old days, the three most important words in advertising were “Unique Selling Proposition.” To me, the three most important words are “By Interacting With…”

-By interacting with Gerber, she becomes a better-informed mom.
-By interacting with The Wall Street Journal, she becomes more tuned into the world of capitalism.
-By interacting with Apple, she brings her entrepreneurial dreams closer to reality.
-By interacting with McDonald’s, her busy schedule is made slightly easier by avoiding a lot of fuss over lunch.
-By interacting with Ralston Purina, she becomes more attached to her canine friend.
-By interacting with your brand, she becomes…?

A good brand is a two-way conversation. What we bloggers know about the nature of information (a great deal) can be applied far beyond our usual diet of media, politics and journalism. Because all products are information. All products are ideas. The molecules are secondary.

Which is why I believe this is a very exciting time for all of us.

I can’t say it much better than that. Think about it.

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