One of the biggest books in marketing at the moment is Chris Anderson’s “The Long Tail”, which looks at how the Internet is creating demand for niche products, and allowing companies to supply these niche markets, which not too long ago were uneconomic to service.

We’re living in a fascinating time where older products and services might have a much-extended life cycle.

At the risk of sounding like a Steve Rubel devotee (given my recent references to his posts), he recently wrote an article for the Advertising Age, where he provided three ways that marketers can “thrive in the long tail world”.

His ideas are to:

  • Rethink reach – reach is much more than a numbers game now, and a credible site visited by your top 20 customers is “gold”.
  • Fund niches – if your customers need a place to congregate online, don’t be afraid to facilitate this
  • Demand more from media – demand that your media partners help you build your brand through niches (Steve gives the example of the Washington Post launching an ad network for bloggers)

I would also add a couple of ideas:

Make it easy for your customers to evangelize their interest by providing as much information online about your products or services as possible. Sure there might be an initial investment required to get all that information online, but once you’ve made that initial investment, the incremental cost of getting more information online is inconsequencial.

Think about developing a program where your evangelizing customers can derive a benefit by introducing others to your products and services. They are probably already promoting you online; encouraging them a little can pay big dividends, and also help to shape the way your company is perceived. This doesn’t have to be a full-on affiliate program; sometimes just getting a thank you can really encourage your fans.

Posted Wednesday, August 30th, 2006 at 6:48 am
Filed Under Category: Uncategorized
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