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V Is For Vulnerable

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We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.



Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

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« Free Tribes ebook | Main | Leadership is now the strongest marketing strategy »

The rapid growth (and destruction) and growth of marketing

Charlie030 Hand selling

Mass marketing
-Newspaper ads
-Radio ads
-TV ads
-Banner ads

Direct marketing
-Direct mail

Viral marketing

Permission marketing
-relevant text ads

Is there a pattern here? Marketing had an arc, one that started with personal, local interactions between real people and rapidly morphed into very corporate anonymous actions aimed at the unwilling masses. Charlie the Tuna is humorous, but he only existed to sell tuna, not to improve our lives.

Mass marketing created an angry, selfish beast, a hungry one, one that demanded to be fed. So marketers fed it, they fed it with any ads they could find. And when they couldn't find ads, they spammed us. All in the name of commerce, all because they're doing their job.

If this blog had existed twenty years ago, every single marketer reading it would have been a mass marketer, a direct marketer or a spammer. All day, every day. In the last ten years, the arc switched its trajectory and the selfish nature of marketing started to unravel.

The web led to permission marketing, which throws a monkey wrench into the selfish rationalization of marketers. Ads that went to people who wanted them outperformed (50:1) ads aimed at strangers. Suddenly, respect becomes profitable.

Wait! What about reaching new people? What about growth? Enter the ideavirus. Viral marketing, remarkable products, word of mouth online... all of these tactics are part of the same strategy: ideas that spread, win. If the internet is a giant meme machine, spreading ideas further and faster than ever before, the winners are those organizations that make things worth talking about. A purple cow isn't a fancy gimmick, or something you slap on to last year's item. A purple cow is a remarkable story, a story that spreads.

Social media's growth in the last three years, though, gives marketers an inkling that there may be something else going on. Sure, they can run spam ads on Facebook, but they don't work. Social media, it turns out, isn't about aggregating audiences so you can yell at them about the junk you want to sell. Social media, in fact, is a basic human need, revealed digitally online. We want to be connected, to make a difference, to matter, to be missed. We want to belong, and yes, we want to be led.

My new book is called Tribes and it comes out today. I started to write a leadership book but discovered that I was actually writing a marketing book. (Either that, or I started to write a marketing book and ended up writing about leadership, I can't remember). Either way, what I discovered in writing it is this: The next frontier of marketing is in leading groups of people who are working together to get somewhere.

As someone who was buying millions of dollars of magazine ads just 24 years ago, this is a lot of change to swallow. And it's also the biggest opportunity for good/meaning/success that I can imagine. More details are here.

Things have changed, far more dramatically than most people realize. Not just what marketers buy, but what the media does all day, and what marketers build, and what we get paid to do and what and where we pay attention...

Here's the wager: A year from now, 10/16/09, will you be leading a tribe of people? Will you be creating stories, connecting people, giving them a platform and making things better for people who care about each other? I'm betting you will.


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The rapid growth (and destruction) and growth of marketing:

» Pleeeeaaasssseeee don’t ‘meet’ me to death . . . I enjoy working too much!!! from The Hound Dog Blog
Not long ago I heard the word 'meeting' used as a verb. It struck me as odd, because how could something get 'meetinged' – but now – I know. Since this is a personal blog… Please don't 'meeting' me any... [Read More]

» You Need This Book from Bob Poole's Water Cooler Hangout
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» seth godin's marketing mistake from Jon Burg's Future Visions
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» There are some things you just have to believe from think story experience
I work in marketing and communications, but I never studied marketing or communications. I believe that's one of my strengths. I don't believe in trusting market research. I'll use it, I'll work with it, but when it comes to the [Read More]

» seth godin taught me/us a lesson... for free from Jon Burg's Future Visions
Yesterday I wrote a post. I was confused. Because it was yesterday.I was operating in pre-today's mindset. But as of today, I have learned something incredible, and I'd like to thank all of you for helping me learn this valuable... [Read More]

» The New Frontier of Marketing - Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way from B.L. Ochman's weblog: Internet marketing strategy, social media trends, news and commentary.
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 giv... [Read More]

» Lead your Tribe with Passion from Tribe Building
Are you looking to lead a tribe? Here’s a tip. Find something you’re very passionate about and start doing it. Blog about it, get the word out about your passion. Before you know it – you’ll notice some people interested [Read More]

» 만박의 생각 from sumanpark's me2DAY
세스 고딘이 Tribes라는 새 책을 내면서 블로그에 설명을... [Read More]

» Bloggers: Harness the Viral Power of your Tribe from Tribe Building
Bloggers who understand the tribal nature of blog readers are better able to tap into the viral producing behavior of their tribe. Blog readers are tribal – they’re always looking for blog posts to share with their friends. Sharing cool [Read More]

« Free Tribes ebook | Main | Leadership is now the strongest marketing strategy »