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Technology Evangelism - Marketing Buzzword or The Newest Marketing Trend?
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Over the past few weeks and months I have heard more about evangelists and evangelism than I have in my entire life. From Technology evangelists to Enthusiast evangelists to Consumer evangelists, everyone seems to be promoting evangelists lately. So what's the deal with evangelism? Depending on your religious beliefs you may feel that there are really only four true evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. If you look up the Wiktionary definition for "evangelist" you will see a number of definitions including the following:

a person marked by extreme enthusiasm for or support of any cause.
Well I guess that solves it then. A marketing evangelist would be considered as a person who is extremely passionate about a set marketing cause. Technology evangelism is the leading edge of technology education and marketing in the IT industry. So whether or not you think evangelism is an over-used marketing buzzword (which I am inclined to believe at this time) or the latest trend in business, marketing and technology, there has been a lot of discussion about evangelism as of late. If you don't believe me, here is a small sample of recent evangelism stories pertaining to technology and marketing.
Top 5 Technology/Marketing Evangelism Resources
  1. Growth Resource Inc. release Technology Evangelists: A Leadership Survey - this is a very informative survey of 29 technology evangelists released in late 2006. The purpose of the study was to determine what it takes to be a technology evangelist and how to utilize these "evangelists" within their respective organizations with focus on their leadership skills.
  2. Microsoft Hires Jupiter Research Analyst Michael Gartenberg as Enthusiast Evangelist - Hiring social media power users to evangelize for your company’s product is becoming an increasingly common practice. Techcrunch has the full story on Microsoft's decision to hire Gartenberg to help act as the bridge between Microsoft and end users.
  3. Guy Kawasaki's The 120 Wonder - How to Evangelize a Blog - Guy's take on marketing blogs (after only blogging for 120 days.)
  4. Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force - book by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba outline six steps to creating customer evangelists. (Here are the 6 steps:)
    1. Customer plus-delta (Continuously gather customer feedback)
    2. Napsterize knowledge (Freely share your knowledge)
    3. Build the buzz (Create intelligent word-of-mouth networks)
    4. Create community (Encourage communities of customers to meet and share)
    5. Make bite-size chunks (Devise specialized, smaller offerings to get customers to bite)
    6. Create a cause (Focus on making the world, or your industry, better)
  5. Global Network of Technology Evangelists - a professional peer organization connecting Technology Evangelists from around the world, with each other. Their goal being to build awareness and acceptance of Technology Evangelism

Technology evangelism may not just be a marketing buzzword. It's something that has been around for a few years. The use of evangelism in relation to marketing or technology just doesn't seem right though. Then again I'm not big on titles or labels, but in the marketing industry titles such as evangelism seem to be all the rave.

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, February 15, 2007  
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