The Network Does the Targeting
The Network Does the Targeting

Editor’s Note: Today’s offering is a guest post is by Jeremy Epstein, founder and chief marketing navigator at Never Stop Marketing.

Here’s the thing about radical transformations: They are radical and they are transformative.

Duh. I know.

But, if you agree that the arrival of the Internet, social tools, and mobile technologies are radically transformative, then it’s not such a far stretch to ask yourself “well, shouldn’t marketing be radically transformed?”

HexSite on target
Image via Wikipedia

And then, it stands to reason, that the canon of marketing as we have known it, also requires that it be challenged.

That’s where I am with the notion of “targeting.”

Now, I’ve blogged about this before “Targeting is Dead: Here’s Why,” but a recent post by Seth Godin made me come back to the issue.

In “Picked vs. Spread,” he writes:

Instead of books that seek to be one of many to be chosen by the shopper with a problem, there’s the opportunity to publish books that spread, spread from someone who is in love with an idea to someone who didn’t even know they had the problem.

I think this is the way of most products and services.

It’s why we need to focus on Community First. It’s why you need to cultivate your community in a genuine way. (here are 10 ways in a free eBook)

If you have people who care about the IDEA, the movement, the passion that is at the center of your organization, as Simon Sinek would say, “WHY you do what you do,” then they will take the things that they deem REMARKABLE and spread them…on your behalf…to those people who didn’t even know they had the problem.

In other words: YOUR TARGET MARKET.

And because they didn’t know they had the problem, the “pitch,” as it were is going to be, oh, I don’t know, about a gajillion times more effective, when it comes from someone who is passionate, has their attention, and has their permission (aka a friend of theirs and a Raving Fan of yours) than from someone who has a vested interest in selling to them (that would be you).

So, the Community, i.e. the Network actually does the targeting for you.

Is there a role for targeting?

Sure, but it’s in listening for those people who could be Raving Fans because they share a motivation for helping you spread your movement and idea, regardless of the size of their wallets or if they are going to buy today.

I’m not done with this concept. Not by a long shot.

Jeremy Epstein is founder and chief marketing navigator at Never Stop Marketing. He helps companies prepare for and exploit the changes brought about by the advent of social technologies. You can read his blog at or find him on LinkedIn, Facebook,  and Twitter (among others) or download the Never Stop Marketing iPhone app to keep in touch.



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