Dances With Tribes

What do you think about all the talk about Tribes these days? I like it because it gets marketers thinking about customers beyond generic market segment Demographics. "Tribes" is a classic term with cultural meaning that we can make into a new buzzword to beat the Social Media (tribal) drum.

Psychographics is the original term that serves the marketers that consider it very well.

Here are some notes from my keynote yesterday at the Boston World Conference presentation called Crowd Source … Tribe Source:

Be useful and the newest media channel known as Word-Of-Mouth will distribute your message for you... with far better authenticity and impact than you can..

The best way to motivate people to participate with your company and brand is to tap into were they believe they belong. Go deeper than your old definitions of “Market Segments”... what are the social characteristics that they define themselves with?

"Soccer Moms" are a set of tribes that share common issues around being over-booked. Volvo tapped this with ads of harried families. They went beyond safety to demonstrate their efficiency... and encouraged conversation about this troubling lifestyle.

People participate to earn reputation. Ask a 5 year-old…pride is the greatest reward. Only compensating with money buys a Tribe of thieves. (hmmm, that deserves a discussion)

Your company is JUST A PART of these tribes of like-minded people. FYI - My company Creative Business Development helps you pursue and manage projects around these opportunities.

They are not listening to you anyway! – People make their decisions around you – not directly with you anymore.

Advertising is dead … long live advertising - It's now called Inbound Marketing where you build content about what you are and customers that want that find you

Where are decisions about you happening?... in new "knowledge networks" with online/offline friends and tribes

Your community ambassadors flame pockets of passion. Greet these influencers… help them be advocates. Make them heroes. At least VIP status.

Enable viralossity… Your content needs to travel … and be portable with sharing tools, star ratings, comments, digital badges of honor... help them interact with their own people

Here is a challenge... have your VIPs earn peer recognition without them trying (too hard). How can you facilitate the Tribe horn blowing?

Here is an idea... “Virtual Goods” are the next hot thing (a $5 billion business globally per McKinsey). They can transfer across our lives with a vote, a comment, and now just a click with a Facebook “Like” or their new currency-credits for real money. Perhaps sponsor a Foursquare Mayor where your Tribe hangs out. How can you use easy-to-share virtual items to help tell your stories?

Being authentic is a key requirement. Creativity let’s you get away with fun stuff… but more transparency and less control is important. See a quick rant on this in my recent post “Admit The Chaos”

Participate in the Tribes that you really belong in. Be helpful… beyond your direct benefit!

It's about sharing - and, remember kids, Netweaving (updated definition)

Latitude has a cool video of their study on sharing:
Collaborative Consumption Groundswell Video from rachel botsman on Vimeo.
From Latitude: Advancements in technology (especially mobile and real-time technologies) are enabling new kinds of sharing amongst diverse networks of people, often over broad distances. And a new collective psychology is fizzling up: one which intuitively favors trust over skepticism of others, and one which builds influential communities from the bottom-up.

What are your Tribes?