The First Law of Marketing in the age of Zipfluence: The audience has been put to work
Imagine for one moment you are the CEO of the New York Times or the Financial Times. You are in the business of leasing access to your global audience to others seeking an audience. Think of it as the monetization of millions of eyeballs.
There was a time when TV was your principle competitor. But now there is Google, Facebook and a myriad of digital media start-ups eating away your market share.
Now ask yourself: What does Facebook have that you don't?
Struggling for an answer? Widen the scope of the question to include Google, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. While you are at it include Microsoft, Amazon, eBay and Apple.
Still struggling? Throw mobile banking, ATM's, eCommerce, App Stores, self service check-outs and self-service check-ins into the mix.
Confused? The answer is they have all made the transition from servicing customers to profiting from the collective efforts of their prosumers.
They have discovered the most talented person in the room is the customer and they have put them to work.
Providing them with the tools to solve their own problems and create new experiences that keep them engaged and enchanted with the brand.
The anti-marketing challenge then isn't to attract an audience and sell them products or services. It is all about having other people build a large and profitable new market for you for free!
Take for example Apple.
The introduction of the iPhone App Store resulted in:
Trace back through the Facebook story, or the Google story, or the Twitter story, or the eBay story and you'll find a similar dynamic. It was all about seeding a disruptive, breakthrough story that encouraged others to build a large and profitable new market for free.
It was all about using stories to radically change established market behaviour.
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