Do you know which community you belong to?

In their forward looking book, Cluetrain Manifesto, the authors list 95 challenging and enlightening marketing rules (“theses”) for both companies and marketers.

As an independent contractor, you get to play both roles.

Here are two big ones to challenge you right now:

“#34. To speak with a human voice, companies must share the concerns of their communities.

#35. But first, they must belong to a community.”

Community: A group of people having common interests: the scientific community; the international business community.

Challenge: Given what you are marketing now, who is YOUR community? What are some common interests you might have with others, that would bind you all to (some aspect of) what you market?

This is akin to knowing you have a bias, a strong interest or leaning, as in the scientific community, the arts community, the Christian or Buddhist community…

Members of any vibrant community are people who have a strong (not just a passing) interest in their beliefs about it, and its leaders seek to grow the community ever larger.

How would you describe the ‘community’ you are part of, as it relates to your product or business?

It starts with you. Marketing as a means to discover and grow a community of like minds is not marketing as usual: No more “them versus us.” No more feeling of marketer as hunter cornering its prey, who, as a group are doing their best to hide (e.g. Do Not Call Registry, Tivo, Caller ID) or become more immune to these attempts at fake communication (they just glaze over).

Here’s what it IS about: US finding more of US.

Once you have defined YOUR interest, or hot button, as it relates to your product, then you can legitimately, authentically and credibly reach out and find others who’d fit right into your (virtual) community. And of course let them know up front you are marketing something that might be of interest to them, because it was, to you.

Assignment: How would you describe the common interest that defines the community YOU belong to, as it relates to what you market? Someone who….

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About the author

Kim Klaver

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