Chris Brogan tells it like it is. He’s a blogger, an author, journalist, a consultant and a social media whizz, but unlike his peers, he’s brisk to the point of being blunt and could care less about Twitter and Facebook. Plus, he’s a man to watch closely if you’re searching for media jobs.
Brogan’s 2009 book Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust hit the New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller list as well as the Amazon Top 100. His second offering Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online also enjoyed great success.
He’s written for Entrepreneur magazine, he’s a successful blogger – chrisbrogan.com currently sits in the top five of the Advertising Age Power150 – he launched the PodCamp unconference series and won the Mass High Tech All Stars Award in 2008.
As well as the above list of accolades, Chris Brogan is also president of Human Business Works and founder of Kitchen Table Companies. He also serves on the board of HubSpot.
What’s His Story?
Brutally honest, Chris Brogan will not tell anyone what they want to hear. In fact he prides himself on his honesty and believes businesses have a duty to take risks and be totally upfront with their customers and stakeholders. This he believes, is the only way they can integrate social media into their overarching marketing strategy and grow their sales.
“Marketers spend so much time worrying about how to say something,” he said. “Want to know a secret? If they spent 10 per cent more effort on learning to listen better (digitally), they’d make tons more money.
“Marketers think they’re paid on clever. Agencies propagate that stereotype. Marketers should be paid on revenue claimed. That would change the storyline drastically, don’t you think? To me, listening is the new black and will be for a long time.”
He’s a firm believer in not only honesty, but using cold, hard data to shift units and increase profits. He argues that traditional marketing has had its day and when retailers for example, can use software to pinpoint which aisles customers linger on and even identify the products they hover around and lots of other incredible information; a snarky tagline and a cute character developed by a remote agency just isn’t going to cut it, according to Brogan.
A pioneer of Web 2.0 – Brogan started blogging when it was still called ‘journaling’. And remember all of the PR hype surrounding ‘the conversation’? Chris Brogan and his contemporaries started it. When you’ve got that kind of pedigree you can afford to be abrupt.
He is an outspoken proponent of email marketing and has been asked many times how he sees the future of Social Media developing and you may be surprised by his response. He hopes it’s going to go backwards. Yes, backwards.
He said: “I think the next networks will be unlike what we’ve seen. I keep hoping someone will pick up on what Nine Inch Nails (yes, the band) did years ago.
“They made a loose social network heavily mobile-based, that gave people proximity based networking. NOT Foursquare. Not ‘here’s everyone’, instead, ‘here’s everyone who feels like talking about ____’
“That’s the sexiest thing. These ‘from the ashes’ brands are just trying hard to revive, but you know what they’re trying as models? Same thing: ads. The Internet is far more rich than ads. That’s just the easy first layer.”