John McCrory

everything interesting

The recommendation ecosystem

Working on a marketing plan and trying to explain, for laypersons, how radically marketing has changed over the past twenty years, I think this prescient 2005 article by Matthew Yeomans, “Taming the Wild Web,” is required reading, even if only for his coining of the term “referral economy.”

What’s struck me about my use of social media is that I rely on search less and less, and I surf less and less. Instead, I let recommendations come to me from trusted “friends” or sources via Twitter and Facebook. When I search, it is usually for reference information, definitions. If I go to Amazon to look for a book, I immediately scroll down to the user/reader reviews for the social proof.

Here’s the catch: to play in this economy — to be referred to and recommended — one has to be a referrer or recommender oneself. It is more of an ecosystem in which energy is exchanged back and forth among organisms.

Refer or be ignored. That’s the new lesson.


Filed under: Marketing

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