Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Tipping Point 

"When you test the way marketers say the world works, it falls apart. There's no there there."
Duncan Watts

Hey now.

Really a fantastic piece in Fast Company. Marketers spend a billion dollars a year targeting influentials. The fellow quoted above says they're wasting their money.

I've been enjoying some great conversations with colleagues about this.

Is the Tipping Point Toast?

One of my favorite marketing writers, Seth Godin, who wrote the book about viral marketing ("Unleashing the Ideavirus") responded to the above article on Watts by declaring markets need both, the influentials and the regular mass market fans. You need word of mouth, and influentials have big mouths.

What should be really clear, though, is that people with big audiences certainly count as one of the people around you. If the guy down the row at work buys a Mac Air, it counts. If Guy buys a Mac Air, it counts just as much (or possibly a bit more). If a kid in school is listening to Ini, it counts. And if you hear HotStepper on a popular radio station, it counts just as much. Since people with big audiences have more 'friends' and have more 'people down the hall', they have more influence. Not because they count for more, just because they 'know' more people.

Works for me. I don't believe in much of this marketing flavor of the month BS, anyways. Things aren't always so absolute and these situations are rarely an either/or situation.

And hell, success is oftentimes about being in the right place at the right time, and nothing more. A happy accident.

So anyway, read the above article if you're interested in these kinda things.

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