In my opinion, the foundation for marketing any new concept has two objectives:
1)Â Â Â Create a snowball effect
2)Â Â Â Create sustainability of the message (trends, jargon, memes)
It is my hypothesis that the basis for accomplishing these objectives starts by connecting unstructured data and people. In the early days of marketing a new product (pre-launch), the theoretical benefits are just as important as the actual product in terms of market and investment validation.
Fortunately, it’s now easier than ever to connect the dots and begin to build an organic campaign to promote your products’ objectives and values. Though clichÃ©, the best startups are truly those that solve specific pain points.Â Thanks to the social web (blogs, Twitter, etc) it’s now easier than ever to identify people suffering from the very pain points your new product or company plans to address.
As marketers, we should be actively searching across the web to identify those persons already talking about these pain points. Step two is simply to add structure to help guide disparate conversations and messaging into common language that will provide the foundation for our desired snowball effect to take hold.
Therefore, the first goal of a startup’s marketing or pre-launch campaign should be to identify the unstructured data points that exist on the web and to connect them. This is also imperative to best position your memes or message for rapid traction.
Here are three reasons why connecting the dots is such a powerful technique:
The Power of Collective is Partially to Empower the Individual. As the expression goes, â€˜a rising tide lifts all boats.’ When people are aware of others who share their same beliefs, they feel a greater sense of personal empowerment. Universally people are much more likely to publicly talk about their own opinions when those opinions are openly supported by others.
Common Language Creates Importance. It may seem obvious, but it is difficult to build a trend when the language people use lacks consistency.Â At a basic level, if you can get a group to agree on common language and keywords, Google is much more likely to begin to associate that content together and thus guide people naturally to related content. These agreed upon keywords are necessary to establish authority, and authority is good for building validation.
Cross Linking Lends to Deeper Dives. This is the same principle bloggers use to increase page views. By having lots of cross linking between people and ideas you promote deeper dives into content. Wikipedia is the master of this where one Wikipedia entry often contains links to 20 or 30 other entries. Remember, when you are cross linking and connecting people and ideas the goal is not to push your own product. Instead, just be an interested party looking to advance the general cause.