Everyone knows that media and it’s consumption has increasingly become fragmented, and therefore marketing has become fragmented. In fact, I just purchased Mark J. Penn’s Microtrends over the weekend, in hopes that by osmosis I’ll become an expert trendspotter, influence the influencers, become a superstar and change my life forever.
What limited, egotistical, small thinking on my part.
According to Duncan Watts in a recent Fast Company article, we can’t force trends, we can’t predict trends, trends happen randomly. So if trends strike randomly, then engineering success by targeting the “mavens” or “influentials” with a big network is a waste of time. What catches on — the trend, the “idea virus”, the spark, whatever you want to call it — will eventually make it’s way to popularity. It has a life of it’s own.
In his blog covering the article, Mark Ramsey actually states that the marketing net should be thrown as broadly as possible in the hope of finding a “match” to strike.
So, magically, we need to find a way to make mass marketing trigger word-of-mouth effects among influential people, although there is no guarantee that these influential people are actually influential until after the viral effect happens.
Wish me luck.