Dial S for Servant of Chaos


I’m pleased to announce you the second (and last) blogger-interviews trilogy. Unlike Star Wars, I can assure you that the second trilogy is as good as the first. The interviewee of the day is Gavin Heaton, the Servant of chaos (If I could, I would give him the award of the coolest blog name). Gavin, the floor is yours.

1/ What was your first blog post ever?

I started blogging as a way of enforcing a kind of discipline upon myself. I once wrote a lot — I have notebooks full of ideas, scribbles, poems and stories — but had stopped. And yet, the desire to write, to communicate had not wholly left me … so I began with what I was most comfortable with … a poem. My original plan was write 999 Theses … or one short idea every day for three years.

2/ What will happen with brands that are not entering the conversation?

Not all brands want or need conversation. Interestingly enough, neither do some bloggers. I am sure that there is some kind of graph available that would map the elasticity of conversation as it applies to either brand or market value on one axis and research and innovation on the other. For a brand that has a high elasticity of conversation, failure to engage your consumers in conversation can have an impact on your reputation … and eventually your sales. Technology brands fall into this category precisely because consumers expect technology companies to USE technologies to communicate. Look at your own posts on HP over the last couple of weeks … it is not like the conversation is not happening — it is simply that HP is not engaging.

I think it comes down to ethics … we hear a lot now about authenticity, but I think this is clearly a consumer-led demand for ethical behaviour. Consumers don’t mind marketing where it is handled transparently … and an ethical approach drives a deeper engagement with the brand. It builds trust. This is where conversation comes in. It opens the way for a deeper and ethical brand connection.

3/ What is the next big challenge for online media owners?

It is measurement and money. We keep trying to cobble old metrics onto new marketing channels and they simply don’t apply. The organisation that figures out how to measure the impact of online media on key business metrics will reap massive rewards.

4/ What is the next big challenge for advertisers?

Creating new models for communications. Many of us are still in love with the “big idea”. We want marketing to be easy and we want to use advertising as the primary tool to drive both sales and brand. But online channels (and yes, there are more than one) require an integrated approach and a comprehensive, network oriented strategy that builds momentum. We need to break out of the silos.

5/What is the most relevant book/article/post ever written on new marketing?

I don’t actually read many business books these days … with blogging there is a real currency of ideas available, and being rather impatient, I prefer the immediacy of blogs. I also love the way that conversations build upon ideas. One of the best examples of this in action is David Armano’s series of posts on creativity and blogging influence — especially this one

6/ What makes your blog different?

Wow, that is hard question to answer! In many ways my blog is not about me … when I first started I hid behind the name of the blog. I also used to sign off each post with the letter “S” for “servant of chaos”. I also commented on other blogs as “Servant of Chaos”. Eventually I had to emerge from the shadows … when I began contributing to Marketing Profs I had to provide Ann Handley with a photograph of myself and a brief bio. Little by little I became less self conscious about “my” blog. Does this make it different? I don’t know …

Thanks Gavin!

(illustration: the Hyperbolic blogosphere, quiet a chaos)


5 Responses to “Dial S for Servant of Chaos”

  1. katiechatfield Says:

    This is fantastic stuff, thanks Phillipe and thanks Gavin.

    There’s a lot of rich territory between Elasticity of Conversation and Authenticity- I love the link that trust and listening creates that cohesion.

    And as to metrics…yep that’s the biggie for both publishers and advertisers alike.

  2. CK Says:

    First off…I can answer what makes Gav’s blog so different: he never ceases to celebrate others–and an eclectic range of others at that. But his own viewpoints are stunning, too, and I push for those posts as well.

    Over in his corner he said he was fretting as to whether or not he’d come across “smart” over here. Indeed he sounds brilliant altho’ he’s so humble, like with this insight: “it is not like the conversation is not happening — it is simply that HP is not engaging.”

    Gav, thanks for making it about others and, in so doing, shine so bright.

  3. Sharon Sarmiento Says:

    Excellent interview! I enjoyed it 🙂

    I can see why for someone as modest as Gavin that it’s difficult to say or notice what makes his blog different.

    In addition to being, as CK has already pointed out, an extremely generous blogger who is forever encouraging others, I think Gavin has a very debonnaire, Cary Grant-like tone of voice to his writing.

    It’s Eloquent, Elegant and Edgy, and Gavin himself is honest, positive, vulnerable, and classy. You put all of that together and there’s just nothing else like it on the web. 🙂

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  5. Vernetta Schrag Says:

    This is like my second time coming by your Blog. I always fond of the content and the way you write. Very smooth and informative at the same time .

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