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« Out Front in Silicon Valley | Main | Dissecting the Meme Meme and Echo Chambers: Purpose-Driven Life Fans Never Buy Michael Moore »

Nov 11, 2004


Yvonne DiVita

Evelyn et has been my focus, and the women's market, for decades. Community enriches everything it touches. It's so great to see this coming into the mainstream via talented folks like yourselves. As for community being the next big thing in marketing... ok, I'll buy...but, it isn't new. Communities of women all over the world have used this form of marketing as their gold standard for some time now. Maybe talking about it is new and recognizing its power is new. But, it isn't new. Ask any woman.

hugh macleod

Eh. Not sure. Community is great with twenty thousand dollar motorcycles- with paper towels the critical mass tend to start dissolving.

Communities only exist when there is something in it for the individual.

Evelyn Rodriguez

I tried not to dissect every part of Afkin's statement. But yep I agree with both of you.

Yvonne, it's not new at all but it really hasn't been used that much in the "mainstream" as you noticed. I still don't think Afkin goes far enough in the "ownership" stance, but that's another post.

Hugh, no it doesn't work in marketing all products and services. That's what one of the things the "blog paper" is about - why that's so.

Evelyn Rodriguez

ATKIN. Sorry I keep misspelling the name. I keep thinking Afkin in my head, but it's Douglas ATkin.

Brian Yamabe

Community marketing may be the next big thing, but I don't understand how you can draw that conclusion from Douglas Atkin. He says, "The Democrats singularly failed to use any of the strategies of Community Marketing," which is ridiculous if you use his definitions. The Democrats tried to use the rollback of pro-abortion laws and the illegitimacy of the war to market to a community. Problem was, there was no community buying into it except for those already so inclined. You say yourself that people don't change their minds on these divisive issues, they are attracted others of like mind. What Democrats don't want to believe is that their ideas attracted as large community as they could.

Evelyn Rodriguez

Brian. Good point. I hastily posted this blog post. And I wish I could re-write it (starting with spelling his name right!). Atkin is definitely advocating preaching to your choir, sticking to your choir and reinforcing your choir. That's his "community" marketing. Although his book is on "cult" marketing. And that's the dark side I reported - it is very polarizing - but it's the ideological viewpoints that polarize. Atkin is just leveraging the fact.

Obviously some of it is fairly benign, like Harleys example. So perhaps it's dangerous to lump "community" and "cult" marketing together.

At the risk of being very controversial and without all the backup research to present, I think probably both sides did try to reach their ideological core. In the U.S., there are three main worldviews/value-systems and I'm not going into them right now as it's subject of the paper. If you want to look at it more simply, we could use market researcher/poller Paul Ray's categories: Traditionalists, Modernists and Cultural Creatives. The Modernists weren't the focus of the election because they can be harder to market to based on their economic strata. The GOP focused on the Traditionalists. I think the Dems maybe marketed to both the Modernists and Cultural Creatives, but not all Modernists are Democrats and Modernists and Cultural Creatives have different ideologies.

So you're exactly right. Everyone stayed within their boundaries. Since the Modernists were probably split based on economic/fiscal policy, the race really pitted Traditionalists and Cultural Creatives. And the sheer number of Traditionalists (55M) outnumber Cultural Creatives (44M). Not too mention that the power base is certainly not with Cultural Creatives.

This is the simplistic answer. I actually don't use Ray's research as much in my findings although it is somewhat useful. (More:



Several of us here have been working with one branch of Clare Graves -- Spiral Dynamics -- since the late 90's, and are reasonably fluent with it. Also looking at building bridges in the wake of 2004 outcome. Lawyer, coach, editor, programmer, communications and graphics. Be in touch if you like.

Brian Yamabe

Evelyn, I'm very interested to see how you break down the three U.S. worldviews/value-systems. I am unfamiliar with Paul Ray's work, but based on the article you linked, I have a problem with his view of the Cultural Creatives which the article says he favors.

I infer from the article that San Francisco, where his company is, would be a center of Cultural Creatives, so he likely associates with a lot of Cultural Creatives. I will even make the next leap and say he is likely in the "cult" of Cultural Creatives thus giving his view point of them as a market segment some skew. His notion that Cultural Creatives are "altruistic and often less concerned with success or making a lot of money." is pretty much hogwash from a market perspective and is evidence of his skew and glorification of Cultural Creatives. If they were truly altruistic, they wouldn't be a market. How would you market a product to Mother Teresa, the Pope, etc. Altruists are unconcerned and uninfluenced by branding, viral marketing, etc.

If Ray were being honest, he would identify this group as the "Do Gooders." They are environmentalists, anti-globalists, defenders of human rights, etc. and while their stated motivation is altruism their underlying goals are to assuage guilt, justify their existence, or gain/maintain power. Now those are things you can market to.


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