Part 6 in the 'Marketing With Your Community' series.
Knowledge and understanding leads to empowerment.
So far in this series, I've talked about the need for marketers to become as close as possible with the communities they sell to. Find them, communicate with them, join them, and finally, empower them. But while this may appear that all the marketing attention is being placed on the community, in fact as you carry out these steps, YOUR marketing is being transformed and empowered as well.
As you begin to communicate with your community, and understand them, you begin to better meet their wants and needs. If you take the process a step further and JOIN your community, then their wants and needs become your wants and needs. The end result is that your marketing becomes much more effective, and efficient. Less money is spend on wasted messages, because you KNOW what your customer wants, because you understand them. You aren't relying on 'market research' as your competitors are, you are relying on 'market interaction'.
And in the process, you are not only winning over new customers, you are creating an incredibly powerful barrier to entry for other competitors. Customers will be loyal to brands that are loyal to them. If you make the effort to communicate and understand exactly what your community wants and needs, they will reward you with their business. And as discussed in Part 5 of this series, they will tell others about you.
The marketing landscape is changing. People are hyper-connected, and have the ability to exchange information much more quickly than companies can send marketing messages to them. Ineffective marketing messages will quickly be the butt of jokes in these communities, while brand loyalty will quickly surround brands that 'get it' by attempting to communicate WITH their communities, instead of sending one-way messages TO them.
The marketers that see this change as an opportunity, will be the big winners. These will be the marketers that realize that relinquishing some control over their marketing message will actually lead to more efficient, and empowered marketing.