You may or may not have noticed that a couple of weeks back I started to offer sponsorship opportunity for my weekly feed at Conversation Agent. Instead of replacing the Sunday post, which many of you find very helpful, I added one extra post to the blog to accommodate for conversations about products and services.
I'm taking this week's slot to support my own efforts for two reasons:
- this is still a fairly new and unknown opportunity -- one I will gladly extend to brands that have an affinity with this community
- I believe in paying myself back for the work I do -- and in using this site as a lab, to learn, adapt, and innovate
And I am providing an easy way to say thank you without needing to wait for the right occasion. Ta-da, here it is.
It's summer, feeds are slowing down, people are publishing less and I am publishing more. I find that is a really good way to stand out, offer something valuable for the community, and advance the conversation at the same time.
Two camps in marketing
There are two camps in pretty much anything you can think of. Often more, I realize. Especially in an increasingly fragmented media world, it is becoming harder to hold onself to any one camp.
Old school, new school, I find that there are two main conversations around how to make an impression with marketing:
By definition, mass marketing is an attempt to appeal to an entire market with one basic marketing strategy utilizing mass distribution and mass media. Also called undifferentiated marketing. In other words, it's a buy and a girl, it's good for prospects as it is for customers, it's wide and broad.
It even shines your shoes (I'm kidding). There is a lot of mass marketing mentality still. Yet little room in the market for first and second movers in many categories. The appeal of mass anything is scale. There are, however, trade offs with that kind of thinking.
First among them: relevance at the individal or sometimes even group level.
Concentrating all marketing efforts on a small but specific and well defined segment of the population is niche marketing.
By definition, niches do not 'exist' but are 'created' by identifying needs, wants, and requirements that are being addressed poorly or not at all by other firms, and developing and delivering goods or services to satisfy them.
As a strategy, niche marketing is aimed at being a big fish in a small pond instead of being a small fish in a big pond. The potential draw back is that the niche is not big enough to sustain the business.
The two don't exist in isolation of each other. There are areas of overlap, potential and intentional.
To measure how you're doing against your goals you need to have a way to map to specific outcomes. Quantity is easy -- fix a price low enough for a product that has a more general appeal, and in theory this would directly correlate with a larger volume in sales.
Quality is a bit harder to determine, because part of the conversation is in the minds and hearts of the person it appeals to and then in their practical application of what they learn. As this is the case with the content of this site, I need to pin down a characteristic or a constant that can be measured.
By measuring just the volume of subscribers, for example, you miss the kind of people who subscribe -- a community of decisions makers who define good business practices; make ideas happen; understand and build influence, future trends, and technology.
I met every single person who comments on this site through their online presence and often in person. In the last couple of years I also learned a lot more about the silent majority who depends on the content of this site to literally make their work more enjoyable and business better.
I will be discussing the topic more in depth in the first issue of Conversation Agent's premium newsletter this coming Tuesday.
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