When you consider the traditional way in which products are marketed, you likely think of strategies such as focus groups, advertising agencies, and even phone surveys conducted with the goal of determining how products and advertising can be engineered to better please consumers. In other words, the process of marketing and selling products to the public is an interactive process. This is not surprising considering that humans are social creatures. What is interesting is the way in which businesses have approached moving into the online arena. In many cases they have opted for measures that have nothing to do with the social experience. Those interested in monetizing blogs, for example, see visitors not as potential customers, but rather as a means to getting advertising dollars. And businesses that are selling goods and services work tirelessly to raise their page rank on Google as a way to help prospective customers “find” them, rather than reaching out to make contact.
And yet, according to Paul Adams in his audio book “Grouped: How Small Groups of Friends are the Key to Influence on the Social Web”, this is a mistake. Marketing and sales strategies pre-internet took many years to hone and perfect. Advertisers knew the importance of positioning products in such a way that they would target not only a demographic, but lead consumers to tell their friends about the great new laundry detergent they found, or the sale going on at the local department store. The idea was to approach consumers on a social level in order to interact with them in a more personal way. The advent of the internet, while providing a new medium for businesses to operate in, has not changed the fundamental ways in which people socialize. So why should it change the way companies market and promote?
It shouldn’t. And more businesses are beginning to understand that and move their efforts into more social undertakings. The online community is only just beginning to understand the scope of socialization that the internet offers, which is why social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and others have become so popular. People want to be connected to others, to share interests and opinions, to meet on common ground, and to celebrate the ways in which we are alike, even though we come from different countries and cultures. A business that fails to see the potential to connect with customers in this way is behind the game.
But Adams stresses that successful marketing efforts within social organizations must focus on smaller groups of interconnected friends rather than targeting massive groups or even individuals that seem to wield a great amount of influence (based on a large following). With small groups, everyone is a trusted individual, so companies that can attract one member have the potential to attract them all. If a business tries to cut corners by going after one person with a lengthy friend list, they’re far more likely to hit a brick wall since those followers are not truly “friends” of the individual.
This audio book is not for the small business owner looking to understand SEO, learn to create a successful viral campaign, or figure out where to get the best purchase order funding rates. Armed with the latest research on internet connectedness from tech companies and university studies, the aim of this audio book is to help listeners that are looking to take their online business into the future by connecting with consumers. And the way to do it is by targeting small groups in such a way that you can enter their protected circle and become a trusted friend.