Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

When Evangelism meets Corporate Marketing

That was the first question that I posted on LinkedIn Answers, the new service that I profiled recently. Here’s the entire question:

Q: Should customer evangelism be an integral part of corporate marketing or shall the twain never meet?

Do you think evangelism is as important as Apple made it out to be during Guy Kawasaki’s time as chief evangelist? If so, why doesn’t Apple have an evangelist today? What is corporate America shying away from?

A few interesting answers so far from other LinkedIn users:

Bennett Zucker

Technology evangelism is most appropriate and necessary when a product or platform’s success depends on achieving the greatest scale possible.

Darren Barefoot:

To me, ‘evangelism’ is just a fancy word for ‘community outreach’. I don’t think it’s important that your evangelists have name recognition. They should build that recognition by engaging with your customers offline at conferences, trade shows and site visits, and online in blogs, forums and so forth.

My friend, Damon

Make your employees happy. After all, you have a very large evangelist “organization” if you make your workers happy. Happy employees=happy evangelists.

Thanks for the 12 responses thus far. I’ll be closing the question in 5 days. Feel free to add your thoughts.

What do you believe will be the future of Customer Evangelism?

Filed under: Miscellaneous

4 Responses

  1. Mario, Thanks for the pickup. Over the past decade, I have been an evangelist for behavioral targeting, online media exchanges and other marketing technologies. But I’ve never accepted the title or even the premise, really. In my opinion, evangelism is just part of what any enthusiastic marketing or sales leader does for a living every day. You’re promoting your product, technology and company as providing a solution that changes the game in some important way for your target market. Evangelism comprises vision, presentation and presence. In the hands of a qualified, credible practitioner, it can move or create markets. But it’s still “just” marketing.

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  2. […] Evangelism meets Corporate Marketing 09Jan07 When Evangelism meets Corporate Marketing: […]

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  3. Stan Hartmann says:

    Having been an avid Mac user and huge fan since their first viable desktop came to maket, my experience is that evangelism has been the major reason for the success and sustainability of Apple. Remember when they ousted Steve Jobs and put the Pepsi guy at the helm? No more evangelist, their kharma was wrecked and only Steve Jobs, THE CHIEF evangelist for his company, could save it from extinction.

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  4. Mario Sundar says:

    Hi Bennett,

    I couldn’t agree more w/ you that every consumer and marketer is called to be an evangelist for products they love using.

    However, as Stan points out, evangelists such as Guy Kawasaki (and of course Steve Jobs), helped get the message out there as quickly as possible to as many people as possible.

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