Thursday, September 27, 2007

Making social objects

Nice post by Mark Earls, that links to a recent talk by Hugh McLeod. Boy is this interesting.

Plan of attack in good marketing is: rather than yell at people, get under what really matters to users/ the audience, and surprise them with it.

Trad marketing is very good at segregating markets, and targetting/hitting/wooing atomized individuals. There is a discipline to this; smart people are good at it.

But we also have to contend with an empowered audience. An audience with a clicker if you like. Markets that don't stay and wait to be conquered. What is more, these audiences are just that - not atomized, and taking their cues form each other.

"We do what we do because of other people" This is the insight that Mark Earls' brilliant book builds on. People buzz, independent of marketing. Social marketing is about acknowledging that marketers aren't the ringleaders they might have hoped to be: the market is more social, and more sophisticated than simply succumbing to MY messages.

So now I finally get to the point of understanding how social objects fit in. Making social objects is about gestures. I can't control the conversation; I can't attack you and make you buy. But if I try, I might be able to throw something into the ring - a performance, an advertisement, a new insight, a powerpoint, or a physical object - that people can cluster around.

Making something worthy of clustering around. interacting around. Most of our language forgets this; we talk about hitting people with our message.

Making social objects may ostensibly be about making waves, but really it's about introducing objects that have ripplability.

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