How to create successful hero marketing

A literal ego trap? 
Originally uploaded by Pete Kim.

Seth Godin comments that words matter.

Consider the following text, edited from an earlier post:

Dave Balter is a word-of-mouth guru. He founded the word-of-mouth media network BzzAgent and has written two books on the subject of word-of-mouth marketing. Dave launched a great hero marketing campaign recently to promote his second book, The Word of Mouth Manual: Volume II. Dave reached out to a network of big thinkers and asked them to show some generosity in promoting the book. Who did Dave a favor? Seth Godin. Jackie Huba. Chris Brogan. John Moore. Greg Verdino. And 15 others. If you look at the related posts, almost all of these bloggers are promoting Dave’s book out of generosity to a fellow big thinker.

So why did it work? The offer was limited. It was relevant to the bloggers and their readers. And it was a motorcade of generosity, from the bloggers to Dave and on to their readers.

Do you learn as much from a “hero marketing” example as an explanation of an “ego trap?” Do these words matter to you?

Let me give you something else to consider:

On July 29th, an invitation was extended to the readers of a prominent blogger to join a “members-only tribe.” It’s invitation only until this blogger’s new book publishes in October and early members get “privileges and bragging rights” including “a chance to contribute to a new jointly-authored ebook, with full credit and links to the contributors.” To join this tribe, you must pre-order the author’s book three months in advance for about US$11 – but this isn’t about selling more books; it’s intended to filter out the tire-kickers from more serious community members.

Does this sound like hero marketing or an ego trap to you?

Know thyself, then you can create heroes and set traps, or decide to follow a hero or step into a trap – for whatever reasons make sense in your story, not someone else’s.