How to Thrive in Marketing's Participation Age
A number of businesses are using social media, video and online experiences to inspire participants to join, share, connect and engage with their product, service and brand. It's a way for brands, large and small, to use a new marketing formula grounded in a science first created by sociologists and psychologists who were trying to understand what motivates people.
This new marketing framework encourages companies to invite customers to participate with their brand. "Participant Marketing" is a new marketing philosophy that transforms uninformed consumers into active participants by empowering them to contribute and developing meaningful relationships that keep them involved.
The responsibilities of marketers are now far more than finding that "big idea," that simple yet clever persuasive message that would alter how someone perceived a product or service. An entire experience is needed. Effective marketing is about creating useful content and information that enables people to discover more about a product and service. It's about creating experiences that empower them to be part of the marketing process itself. And finally, it's about building community environments that encourage people to connect not only with the product, service or brand, but also with other people who had similar interests.
This recipe for building the new marketing approach is called The Participation Way, and I've put it into an easy-to-remember formula: D (Discover) + E (Empower) + C (Connect) = P2 (Participation and Performance).
This new type of marketing is more than just a new approach. It also involves activating new tools (e.g., social listening) to understand what participants are thinking and even capitalizing on unexpected demand. Earlier this month I wrote about Texas Senator Wendy Davis, who upon embarking on a filibuster for an abortion bill in the Texas Capitol chose to wear her rouge Mizuno running shoes because she thought they'd be comfortable for what she expected to be a prolonged discussion.