Monday, January 21, 2008

Marketing Musings: Is the Tipping Point Toast?

Finding your audience in this fragmented media environment driving you crazy? You just have to find influencers right? Wrong… according to an Aussie researcher now working at Yahoo. Definitely an interesting position in this “Tipping Point” focused world.

Here is an excerpt:

Gladwell's book laid out many other factors that can "tip" a trend. He described other influential types: Mavens, who love to collect information and help others make decisions, and suave Salesmen of ideas. In order to spread, an idea or product had to be "sticky," and appear in a fertile social context. But as The Tipping Point climbed the charts, marketers fixated on Gladwell's Law of the Few, his suggestion that rare, highly connected people shape the world. For anyone involved in pitchmanship, it was an electrifying notion, one that took a highly complex phenomenon--the spread of memes through society--and made it simple. Reach the gatekeepers, and you reach the world.

Marketers seized on Malcolm Gladwell's "Law of the Few," his suggestion That rare, highly connected people shape the world. But Watts, for one, didn't think the gatekeeper model was true. It certainly didn't match what he'd found studying networks. So he decided to test it in the real world by remounting the Milgram experiment on a massive scale. In 2001, Watts used a Web site to recruit about 61,000 people, then asked them to ferry messages to 18 targets worldwide. Sure enough, he found that Milgram was right: The average length of the chain was roughly six links. But when he examined these pathways, he found that "hubs"--highly connected people--weren't crucial. Sure, they existed. But only 5% of the email messages passed through one of these superconnectors. The rest of the messages moved through society in much more democratic paths, zipping from one weakly connected individual to another, until they arrived at the target.

The full Fast Company article is here.

Marketing Musings: It's the Details!

Do the details really matter? Throughout the Weekly Program I have repeated just how important attention to detail is and why you must constantly revisit, refine and communicate. But why you ask? Instinctively we all like a clean environment, courteous staff and prompt service but is that the real reason to put so much effort into the “details”?

Last night I read one of the most profound statements I have seen in years. The author is Dr Paddi Lund and the book is called “The Absolutely Critical Non-Essentials”. Paddi captures the “details” dilemma in just 18 amazing words….

“Customers judge your expertise in areas they do not understand by your excellence in areas which they do”.


You mean all this time I have been focusing ALL of my effort on being a mechanic /baker/ electrician/ accountant (the list goes on!) my customers have been judging me by the sign hanging out front, the quality of the coffee I serve them, the waiting room magazines, the oil stained carpet (this list also goes on!)?

In a word, Yep. Revisit Week 42. I’ve called it “not falling at the last hurdle” but from here out think of all these things as Critical Non-Essentials.