Marketing’s past is one built on interruption, repetition, and share of mind. The focus always had to be on “scale.” To push product, it was assumed that tens of millions of potential consumers needed to be reached before brands could resonate with enough buyers.
Today, people are connected. They can search, review products, share openly, and research religiously. Information is at their fingertips, and fans actively opt-in to many of brand’s most impactful channels. The top-down approach of marketing’s past was not created for such a world.
So what do marketers need to do to win in the post-interruption world? They need to engage people from the bottom-up, as some brands and businesses have done successfully for decades.
Take the music industry, where dismal early career budgets force musicians to build support one show and one fan at a time. After becoming stars, musicians still understand that people are their biggest asset. They continue to rely on fans and enthusiastic street teams who can help get the word out about releases and local performances more effectively than ever before through social technology.
Top down marketing is not a new formula for politicians either. Political candidates’ success has long depended on their ability to rally support from concerned citizens. In 2008 and 2012, President Obama rode his ground game into the White House by mobilizing a well-organized army of neighborhood advocates made substantially more powerful by their ability to communicate with their personal networks online.