What I Do: Guy Kawasaki, the “evangelist marketer”

The special advisor to Google’s Motorola is a pioneer of ‘evangelistic marketing,’  and advocates marketing to “important nobodies.”

While the job title of “evangelist”
may have in the past conjured up an image of an in-house religious devotee, the
style of marketing has become more popular in the business world, particularly
in the technology space.

Guy Kawasaki can be thanked
for this. As a pioneer of evangelist marketing, which draws on word-of-mouth
marketing to drive brand loyalty, he is credited with establishing the
cult-like desire for Apple, where he was its first chief evangelist in the
mid-’80s and later returned as one of only a few Apple Fellows, a corporate
designation for a visionary in a particular expertise.

In Kawasaki’s words evangelistic
marketing is “when you convince people to believe in your dream as much as you
do.”

While Honolulu-born Kawasaki is best known
for this work at Apple, he has also made a name for himself as an Internet
entrepreneur and best-selling author. The title of the latest book he is
working on, “APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur,” sums up the sort of work he
does succinctly.

Earlier this year Kawasaki was hired by
Apple rival Google, as a special advisor for its Motorola business unit. His
role involves marketing, social media, product design and “whatever Dennis
Woodside, CEO of Motorola, asks me to do.”

When Kawasaki announced his appointment on his
Google+ page ? he is a rare, yet prominent, advocate of the social
networking platform ?
he wrote that Motorola reminds him of
Apple in 1998, as it is “engineering driven and ripe for innovation.”

In the three
decades Kawasaki
has working in the technology space, he says communications has “completely
changed.”

“It used to be
top down – suck up to the powerful people, hope they like your product and that
they make your product. Now it’s bottom up – if enough “[email protected]” like your product, it can tip over and then powerful people have to pay attention to
you.”

For this reason Kawasaki advises PR
professionals to focus on social media early in their careers and aim to reach
the “nobodies.”

“Nobodies are the
new somebodies,” he says.

Outside of work, Kawasaki’s interests are
his kids and hockey. “In a perfect world I would do nothing, but hang with my
kids and play hockey.”

Despite these
aspirations, Kawasaki
is always on and will get up a few times a night to check “What’s hot” on Google+.

“The key to my
success is that I’m willing to grind it out and do the dirty jobs,” he says.

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