The recipe for selling great products to great customers in the age of Social Media resides first in helping people find their highest talent and passion. Advertisers need to offer something to the community that they target. The best place to start is in understanding the challenges and opportunities that a modern community faces.
The great innovations of our time were created by people doing what they enjoyed most by using their talents to the highest potential. Disney, Boeing, Apple, Mattel, and nearly every other ground breaking venture had the secret sauce of people doing what they were best at and most passionate about – and it was not about collecting “stuff”
The passion play
Computer Enabled Society is in the midst of a struggle to reorganize itself outside of the construct of the traditional corporation. It seeks to develop methods and systems that allow for the reallocation of social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital to match a person’s natural talents, passions, and abilities with those complementary to other people. This is as true for communities as it is for corporations. The result will be a profound new paradigm of Social Capitalism reflecting social priorities and community values.
Do no evil:
If marketers have the foresight and talent to “get ‘em while they’re young” or to “sell ‘em what they fear”, they certainly also have the foresight and methods to “develop ‘em to their highest potential”. Advertising agencies are full of real smart people who know how to deliver a hidden message – why not use that talent to empower people?
Instead, mass marketing pays mass money for mass audience from which to draw mass revenues – the message gets debased to play on mass fears, anxieties, and insecurities because this is the least common denominator. As a result, actual products are designed to be marketed, sold, and thrown away; not to be particularly useful, productive, or even healthy. Unnecessary innovation wastes human effort and natural resources while mass marketing of unnecessary innovation wastes the time and bandwidth of those for whom the product is irrelevant. Yes, the majority of advertising is just Spam.
Advertisers as community organizers?
Few realize that advertising can become a highly useful component of the Innovation Economy. In many professional practitioners look forward to hearing from vendors, educators, and fellow practitioners for trends, news, and developments that can strengthen their community. Bad products are rejected quickly and good ones are elevated quickly. This is how the great innovations are found. This is where the early adopters congregate. This is where brand loyalty is unyielding. This is where wealth is created. This is efficiency that society wants and needs. Social Media can deliver this audience but advertisers need to adapt by losing the CPM (cost per mille) model (more on that later).
Marketing to communities is fluid, dynamic, specific, and it takes some work. The dynamics of communities will replace the statics of demography and CPM. Fulfill those needs of a community and your products will win forever. It is not difficult to see the future, only to act on it. That is innovation.