Power of Celebrity (Still Works)

October 26th, 2008

Of course, marketers have known forever how a celebrity can impact sales for their companies. My earliest recollection of this idea was of Joe Dimaggio and Mr. Coffee TV spots from the early 1980s.

Well, I happened to call Zappos.com the other day to talk about sending back some shoes I had bought, as they were a half-size too small. Who was I greeted by? None other than CEO Tony Hsieh at first. A CEO making an automated appearance? Big freaking deal, right? I agree.

But here’s the catch: Hsieh then started chitchatting with tennis star Serena Williams about what my customer service options were during the call. It was a surprising, unorthodox and impressive presentation, I thought.

And that CRM call actually happened on the same day that I shared a conversation with Jennie Baird, President, Generation Grownup, LLC. We were talking about how she’s been essentially launching her site this year under the wings of both writer Laura Wattenberg, who had become an extremely popular blogger at iVillage, and their “Baby Name Wizard”, which helps future parents decide on a baby name in a myriad of cool ways at http://www.babynamewizard.com.

Baird’s advertising sales have gone well in the few months the site has been officially up. “We launched our site in May,” Baird says. “We are getting 125,000 unique visitors per month at this point.”

With so many websites out there, those numbers are not anything to sneeze at. What does this all mean?

You don’t need a Joe Dimaggio or a Serena Williams necessarily in this day and Internet Age. There are ‘virtual grassroots personalities’ like Wattenberg out there who can help your business ideas along as well.

One sees this type of cherry-picking all of the time in the content biz world. Perhaps eretailers who need to educate their consumers with expert content in order to cultivate relationships should take note.

Categories: Branding, Consumer Marketing, Contentbiz, Ecommerce Eretail, Online Marketing Tags: , , , ,

We no longer accept comments on the MarketingSherpa blog, but we'd love to hear what you've learned about customer-first marketing. Send us a Letter to the Editor to share your story.