Just finished up Greg Stielstra’s Pyromarketing, the book that claims to know the secrets why The Passion of the Christ and The Purpose Driven Life were such big hits. Honestly, the book isn’t all that great – there’s some amazing concepts that I think are dead on, but the book itself just clings too tightly to the metaphor and goes into the physics of fire and iginition so deeply at some point I’ve grown bored with it. That of course, doesn’t take away from the possible truths of the book, so here’s the 4 key learnings:

  1. Gather the driest tinder: Focus your promotions on those people most likely to buy, benefit from, and then enthusiastically endorse your product or service. They are the only ones whose ignition temperature is within reach of your advertising. They light easily and burn hot. The driest tinder is where word-of-mouth wild fires begin.

  2. Touch it with the match: To the extent you can, give people an experience with your product or service. If you want people to laugh, don’t tell them you’re funny, tell them a joke. Experience is the shortcut to product understanding. It touches people deeply and generates more heat than advertising, igniting even the mildly interested.

  3. Fan the flames: Fanning the flames means giving people tools to help them spread your message throughout their social network. People spread messages more effectively than advertising. The fire is hotter than the match. This is why the process that spreads your marketing message must be different than the one by which it began. Leveraging the power of personal influence is the only way to expand your marketing fire beyond its point of origin (the driest tinder and mildly interested) to the masses. By understanding the process you can equip people with tools to exponentially increase their reach and influence.

  4. Save the Coals: Saving the coals means keeping a record of the people you encounter through your marketing so you can quickly and easily reach them to fan the flames or to tell them about new products that match their interests. This allows your marketing to build equity and keep pace with the needs of your growing business.

I would recommend reading an executive summary of the book, rather than the whole thing. Greg does however, have a good blog going that’s worth a stop.

As a free bonus, I’m going to give my copy of the book away to a random person selected from the people who comment on this post. Post anything and you’re entered – winner announced Tuesday AM!