By B.L. Ochman
Brilliantly, Seth Godin sent everyone who pre-ordered his new book, Tribes, an advance copy a week ago.
He asked us to read it, and then, if we liked it, to give the copy we paid for to someone else to spread the ideas. (I’m going to give my copy away some time in the next couple of days to one of my followers on Twitter, so watch for the tweets please.)
Like all of Godin’s books, Tribes is simple, direct, and spot on. He says marketing used to be about advertising, which was about yelling about the junk you wanted to sell. “Today, marketing is about engaging with the tribe and delivering products and services with stories that spread.”
The next frontier of marketing, he writes in a thought-stimulating blog post, “is in leading groups of people who are working together to get somewhere.” The proliferation of social media has given everyone who wants to be a leader the tools to reach an audience who will spread his/her ideas and become a tribe.
People matter, not companies
Godin writes about what I, and a small core group of Internet marketers have been telling clients for years – it’s not enough that your product exists. It has to add value to people’s lives. That can range from being helpful to being amusing, but it has to be more than just another toaster, car, store, wine, book, or widget. What you sell has to fit into the lifestyle and the values of people who are kind enough to give you their hard-earned cash. Your product or service has to make people want to tell their friends good things about you.
When your product or service helps people in some way, it is transformed from a mere commodity to something to recommend to friends. We all have the tools to make our opinions heard. We listen to each other, to people we trust, not just to the company, agency or person who yells the loudest.
It’s so simple. People matter, not companies. In this new landscape, you have to give to get. Anyone who only self-promotes will soon be banned.
It’s a sea change and it’s still hard for a lot of companies to grasp. But once you get it, you see that all the connections between people are really the biggest opportunity for success that’s ever existed.
We’re all just humans
Join the conversation. But tread gently. And remember, we’re all humans, and we’re all in this together. Change is not only unavoidable, it’s good.
Think about that while you read Tribes.
Illustration: Small Actions for Big Change
The New Frontier of Marketing – Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way
By B.L. Ochman
Tags: , BL Ochman, new media marketing, Seth Godin, social media marketing, Tribes
Totally agree. My feeling is that Fortune 500 CPG companies are still, in general, way behind on this perspective. I have seen number that suggest that the vast majority of marketing spend by these organizations are still in the “Yelling at People” medium…
Why? Because the leaders of these firms are not risk takers by design. Add a flavor…and a new size…and do a 30 second spot. This will change…but it will still take time, and by then, Tribes will be old news…
As my friend Hugh Macleod has observed about people at big companies, they’re not paid to be creative, they’re paid to be afraid.
You’re right, by time execs at agencies and big companies grok the impact of social media, tribe leaders will be on to the next level. Hey, it keeps us in consulting work. :>)
small core group of Internet marketers have been telling clients for years – it’s not enough that your product exists. It has to add value to people’s lives. That can range from being helpful to being amusing, but it has to be more than just another toaster, car, store, wine, book, or widget. What you sell has to fit into the lifestyle and the values of people who are kind enough to give you their hard-earned cash.