Stop yelling. Marketers need to be leaders of tribes.

I'm a huge fan of Seth Godin and his latest book tribes. I'm definately apart of his tribe. I'm servicing my nasty addiction and writing this blog at the local Starbucks. The service team here, lead by an awesome Store Manager have a latte tribe in this local community. I'm also in that tribe.

Here's a few things I've learned from Seth about tribes.

Traditional marketing - is about yelling at a crowds – think tv and radio ads. The successful companies of the 21st century won't be yelling. They'll be leading tribes. Tribes are longer lasting and more powerful than crowds.

The difference between a tribe and a crowd:

"A crowd is a tribe without a leader. A crowd is a tribe without communication."

Seth uses Whole Food’s to make his point. He argues that despite all the content and communication, they haven't given customers the tools to communicate with each other - no meeting places in stores, online communities, or anything else. Instead, he says, they've created an amusement park for food.

They've created a crowd, not a tribe.

Here are a few things I have noticed about building a tribe online community whether it's big like Seth's or a start up like Fohboh or Talent Revolution.

The Marketers are Leaders and have a strong Personal Brand- Very often we join a community due to the person who is leading the group has a personal brand and reputation for something we are into and want to know more about. They are likely to share with their community a compelling vision of what future success will be and have values that we can connect with at a personal level.

Like-minded People are connecting - Sometimes it’s others in our network that we respect. People who are connectors and share with us information and ideas that they know will resonate with our personal or business interests.

Early adopters and people that take action are rewarded - And if the community is one that creates buzz there is often a limited time in which to make a decision to join - you have to be decisive to take action - but those that create the most buzz have an irresistible offer and reward the early adopters and people that take action.

Here is what Seth shares on his blog about the creation of the Tribe online community:

“I’d like to invite you to join a members-only tribe. A tribe for marketers, for leaders, for those focused on building communities or creating products or spreading ideas.
This online community will live on a site we’ve created that will feature blogs, forums, social networking, comments, photos, videos and a job board. And it’s by invitation only until October. Spots are limited and early members get privileges and bragging rights.
Members get a password and the privilege of meeting each other, posting thoughts, connecting to big ideas or projects and more. The site will include excerpts from the book as well as a chance to contribute to a new jointly-authored ebook, with full credit and links to the contributors. The contents of the tribe forum won’t be posted to the public until October, so it’s really the only way to participate until then.

I’m launching my new book in mid-October, and as usual, doing something different to take my own advice.

One of the ideas I talk about briefly in the book is that powerful tribes aren’t open to everyone. The exclusivity makes it work. In this case, the exclusivity comes from two things:

1. I’m only announcing the Tribe here on my blog.
2. You have to be committed enough to pre-order my book, sight unseen (in some places for less than $14), months in advance. It’s not about selling more books, of course, it’s about creating a small hurdle to get the right people in the door.”

Watch Seth talk about tribes:



Are you leading a tribe? What tribes are you apart of?

amanda hite
talent revolution
a drastic change in thinking and behaving with talent

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Tags: amanda, godin, hite, revolution, seth, talent, tribes

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Comment by susan holaday on November 26, 2008 at 5:09am
What strikes me about the concept of tribes is that they represent is very targeted groups - it makes me think about my circulation and the core of very loyal readers Foodservice East has developed over the years - love it!

Non-Operator
Comment by Matt Smith on November 25, 2008 at 9:23am
I'm proud to be part of the Talent Revolution Tribe! Coming from a marketing person, this is so relevant in today's market as ads continue to loose traction and people get yelled at so often every day....(think how many junk e-mails you delete every day)

The biggest question is, how do we borrow a page from Seth and move this tribe effect from our customers to our people? How do we make our teams loyal tribes?

We should join Seth's tribe to get him to add a chapter about employer branding and how to measure the impact our people have on creating tribes for our brands...I'd say it's safe to assume the connection our people make creates more tribalism/ loyal customers than our marketing departments.

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