The Electronic Retailing Association

Bang the Drum: The New Paradigm of Tribal Marketing in a Digital-Dominant World

Amanda Justice summarises Rick Petry and Andy Latimer's Top Tribal Marketing Tips

Let your tribe start telling your story and start beating the drum for you.

At the Seville conference, Rick Petry and Andy Latimer gave a very interesting presentation 'Bang the Drum: The New Paradigm of Tribal Marketing in a Digital-Dominant World'. The session focussed on how to attract, cultivate, and sustain a tribe of devoted consumers amid a world of infinite choice and complexity. Very topically, as the World Cup had just started, Rick started off with the example of football 'tribes' – the concept of 'we won, they lost'. How we share our experiences extends to products as well. You are a brand – the car you drive, the handbag you carry. There is a 'mini wave' – when a mini driver passes another they wave.

The virtual world can be more interesting, more compelling than what is going on in the room – the connection to sthg larger.

Rick did a nice participation exercise with the audience: talk to the person sitting next to you and find the (tribal) connection between you, whatever it is. What did you discover about each other? e.g. you both work in the same industry, you both know the same film, you both share a similar hobby...what you share is what connects you.

These days we live in the real world AND in a virtual world that is maybe more interesting, more compelling than what is going on in the room – the connection to something larger. Rick quoted from Aziz Ansari, author of Modern Romance who said 'We have two selves – a real world self and a phone self '

Download the E-Book: Direct Response Marketing 101 in the Omni-channel age: An introduction to Direct Response Television (DRTV) and Direct Response by Rick Petry & Andy Latimer

In todays world, people want to play a role in your brand and you can't control it. People get a rush of dopamine when they post, share or 'like' sthg online” - according to Rick, its proven to be akin to a physical hug. So his message is: you need to find the brand evangelists, their followers, amass them into a tribe and cultivate them.

Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon

Rick and Andy's Top Tribal Marketing Tips:

  • Dont think of your consumers just as a target audience
  • Start looking at the psychographics of your customers.
  • Don't think of digital marketing and content marketing just as a secondary or tertiary solution. They are of primary importance!
  • Do embrace the consumers wherever they are. We can do TV on one product but another one should be building online.
  • Let your tribe start telling your story and start beating the drum for you.
  • Online, try to give customers affirmation of what the product does already in the name and/or headline description.
  • Build your tribe - remember there is safety in numbers – people are looking for critical mass of social proof e.g. if 1.2 mill people are in a group customers feel it must be legitimate
  • Ensure content is constant, relevant, everywhere, first – let it happen authentically – have to be everywhere with it
  • Don't let someone else steal your business.
  • We need to stay committed to our campaigns. As direct marketers we are used to cause and effect - if a campaign is half hearted it gets thrown out
  • You don't need a celebrity to make the brand, you need a (tribal) connection.
  • Find out exactly who your audience are – they may not always be who you think.
  • Do build reach via a content marketing strategy that is keyword-rich
  • Consider using influencers - they can get up to a 65% higher response. Influencers have a tribe that will follow them everywhere
  • Establish marketplace listings with controlled branding and price protection – 55% of product searches go through Amazon, not Google
  • Do not sell to Amazon directly or you will have no price protection any more (unless you see them as a customer and don't care that they will drive the price down)
  • Validate your product by focussing on ensuring the brand is registered, enhanced brand content, brand gating, SEO protection, eliminating the grey marketplace, eradicating counterfeit merchandise, consumer review management.
  • Don't try to control where the consumer buys your product any more. So many people are new sellers on amazon marketplace - you can't push the tide back, you can only fight the wave.
  • Look at the situation holistically. When you turn your TV spend off, Amazon sales also turn off – you have to understand how the two things work together – catch it with your organic content – dont just optimise TV and digital.
  • Be authentic in everything you do
  • Watch out for rogue affiliate marketers!

  trust that if you are successful, your seeded content will inspire native, organic content from your tribe. In some respects its all about story telling – you start and then your tribe start repeating and changing your story.
Rick Petry

Thanks Rick and Andy for an excellent presentation!

Rick Petry presents Bang the Drum
Andy Latimer, Bluewater Media, co-presenting Bang the Drum.