First, I have a new article appearing at Marketing Profs, entitled How to Make the Community Your Marketing Partner. This is my first article for MP, and covers how businesses and marketers can embrace and join communities and partner with them in their marketing efforts. Here's a portion:
But here's the problem: Faster and more efficient communication means that ideas are exchanged more quickly than ever before within communities. Thoughts are exchanged, styles are developed, trends are created... all at an ever-accelerating pace. Attempting to guess from afar what the current trends and preferences are for your hyper-connected customers is a crapshoot at best, and a total waste of time at worst.Be sure to check it out, I think you'll like it. And as you can see here, it's currently the 2nd most popular non-premium article this week! And a footnote: Thanks to Lani for her incredibly kind email about the article!(Lani I linked to your website, if you have a blog, email me the address and I'll add a link to it as well!)
So, at this point, you have a choice: You can continue using the same marketing methods you have always used to reach your customers, or you can try something revolutionary. You can join them. You can stop trying to guess what your customers are talking about, and instead join their communities and talk to them directly.
Sound scary? Good, because at first it will be. But the good news is that when you join consumers in their space, you begin to understand them. You begin to understand what their wants and needs are, and you begin to "speak their language." Perhaps just as important, they begin to understand you.
I also have a new post up at Daily Fix, Where's the Blogging Party?, focusing on the steps I've used to create The Viral Community here, and hopefully it can help some other bloggers as they try to grow their own communities. Feel free to stop by and add your own tips!
Finally, other blogs are continuing to link to my '100 CDs for 100 Bloggers' idea. Thanks to everyone that's helping to spread the word. I am pretty passionate about this idea because I know it will work, and I know it will benefit all parties involved; music fans, the artists, and even the labels. And it will go a long way toward revolutionizing the way labels market music to their communities (by joining them, of course). If you haven't linked to The Viral Garden yet and want to, please instead link to my '100 CDs for 100 Bloggers' post here, or the post I left at Daily Fix. I'll make sure to link back to everyone's blog here. Thanks in advance ;)
UPDATE: Thanks to Tamera at (3i) for adding her take on '100 CDs for 100 Bloggers'!
Pic via Flickr user Subinev