Everyone who seeks to change the way society thinks engages in in some sort of marketing. You may want to convince people to buy your product, to donate to you, to vote for you, to visit your school play, or to take an interest in protecting the environment. Marketing is also about understanding others, which is the first step to gaining influence.
For most organizations there are two target groups:
An online community is different from a normal organization. While normally there is a clear separation between inside and outside an organization, an online community is both inside and outside the organization. It may not even be rooted in an organization, but instead span many organizations. It is UsAndThem rather than Us vs. Them.
A community grows when someone from outside the community joins the community. They will then be inside the community. The messages one presents to the outside world must be consistent with the messages presented inside the community because people will read both messages. This differs from a typical organization that might have a different message inside than outside.
Also, in traditional marketing, communication is most often in one direction from one party to another; for instance, an organization advertises a new service to its customers. However, in a community, everyone can communicate with each other. Customers can talk to other customers, and even directly to members within your organization. Marketing in an online community then is more about fostering and directing a conversation rather than saying anything specific.
FridemarPache: My guess for the future is: CommunityMarketing and conventional CorporationsMarketing? will converge more and more to OnlineConversation? as proclaimed in CluetrainManifesto and the most attractive conversation will be of such a kind, that produces and shares real wealth as sketched in [AboutusOrg:Wealth] or also in CreatingAndSharingWealth.
This page is to build a pattern language about how to market (advertise, sell ???) your community so as to encourage people to join. This came up in a few places recently. We don't have a good name yet, and this is just at the "collecting notes" (brainstorming) phase. Please chip in.
I'm writing a learning module on community marketing now for the FAO, so I'll have a lot more to say. -- SunirShah
Sunir, where can we find it.
Internal community issues:
External community issues: