Andrea Coville, January 2017
For communications pros, it’s the challenge of our time: getting people’s attention, resonating once we’ve got it, and making the connection meaningful enough to change our audience’s behavior.
We call that being relevant. And it’s harder to do than ever. That’s because our audiences – the people we wish would love our brands, products, candidates and causes – are under siege: they’re typically bombarded with 5,000 emails, ads, tweets, etc., every day.
A classic practice for connecting with audiences is segmenting them demographically, then tailoring one’s methods, messages and offers to those segments. For example, you may determine the richest target for your product is women 18-34 with salaries under $60,000. That filter will turn up a lot of Americans, but most won’t give you their attention or devotion. In this sense, traditional demographic segmentation is a blunt instrument indeed.
In our quest to help our clients improve their audience conversion, we at Brodeur Partners have been looking at a new, perhaps better way to target new markets: Tribes.
“For millions of years,” writes author Seth Godin, “human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”
Tribes are diverse individuals who bond —and influence one another – through shared passions and experiences. Tribes can be permanent (Navy Seals) or temporary (Trump voters). Social media has fueled tribe formation. So has a pervasive sense of anxiety: for example, 71 percent of Americans think the U.S. economic system is “rigged in favor of certain groups.” Joining a tribe makes you feel better about an uncertain world. And once again, millennials are showing us the way.
We think it’s critical for communications pros to know how to discover, create and nurture tribes. And we’ve conducted some new research into the phenomenon.
Want to learn more? Please join Brodeur Partners for a webinar, “Moving from traditional consumer thinking to ‘tribes’ of shared experiences,” scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 26 at 12:30 p.m. EST. In this 30-minute session, Brodeur’s Jerry Johnson and I will discuss how to:
- Bond people to your brand by forming Tribes.
- Find the Tribes that want to follow you.
- Create compelling new “Tribal” experiences.
- Leverage Tribes’ ability to ease anxiety and foster hope.
For that half hour, and maybe even longer, we can be our own tribe.