Since I have not been in Charlotte very long, nor am I in the group of “powerhouse marketers” here, I am sure that my opinions about community-centered marketing have gone unseen, or unheard. I understand that, and in no way am I offended by it.
But now, I have others to back the theory up. Marketing and community should never be tackled separately. One complements the other.
1. Here is the first opinion, Douglas Atkins from Forbes’ Online Marketing Section. I will highlight the article. Also, see how this article coincides with my “marketing cult” post from March 09. Atkins outlines these main points about building a brand around a community
-Enable people who are passionate about your product
-Enable a community of shared skill (talent, aptitude)
-Enable a community of shared needs
-Sponsor existing communities of shared needs, passions, or causes
-Champion causes for social change
And Atkins provides brilliant example for each tenet. But his main point shows that marketing and communications-now, more than ever- need to have its foundation built in communities. Through communal consumption or geographic location, the need for community is there. And it is our job as marketers and communicators to provide it.
2. The second opinion comes from a wonderful blog called PR-Squared. There, it had a guest blogger by the name of David Alston who talked about the importance/relevance of “community equity.”
This post is extremely interesting, because it ponders how to describe the value of the activities associated with a company within a community, compared to the company withholding all activity (not being there at all).
Two very interesting opinions with one common theme: marketers and communicators should be dedicating serious attention to their communities. And note: an audience, like Atkins states in his article, is not a community. People must participate. They must be engaged. Then, applying Alston’s claim, measuring the value on that engagement can really change how we look at our society, and marketing as a whole. Too cool.
Your thoughts are appreciated.