Sunday, November 19, 2006

'Citizen Marketers' and 'The Tipping Point'

I am excited to read the new book by Ben Mcconnel & Jackie Hubba entitled Citizen Marketers, but in a recent post by Ben on the 4F’s, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the 4F's and the concepts introduced in the Malcolm Gladwell’s 2000 book – The Tipping Point around categories of people who have the power to produce social epidemics.

Citizen Marketers F1 – Filters: Filters are human Wire Services. They collect traditional media stories, bloggers’ rants and raves, podcasts, or fan creations about a specific company or brand and then package this information into a daily or near-daily stream of links, story summaries, and observations.

  • Tipping Point Parallel - Mavens: A maven is someone who has a disproportionate influence on other members of the network. They are intense gatherers of information and impressions, and so are often the first to pick up on new or nascent trends.

Citizen Marketers F2 – Fanatics: The Fanatics are true believers and evangelists. They love to analyze the daily or weekly progress of a brand, product, organization, or person and prescribe courses of action. They are, essentially, volunteer coaches.

  • Tipping Point Parallel - Salesmen: Charismatic people with powerful negotiation skills. They exert "soft" influence rather than forceful power. Their source of influence may be the tendency of others, subconsciously, to imitate them rather than techniques of conscious persuasion.

Citizen Marketers F3 – Facilitators: Facilitators are community creators. Their primary citizen marketer tool is a Web-based bulletin board or community software. Facilitators are like the mayors of online towns, and some online communities exceed the populations of small cities.

  • Tipping Point Parallel - Connectors: Those with wide social circles. They are the "hubs" of the human social network and responsible for the small world phenomenon. They are the kinds of people who know everyone.
The 4th 'F' in the Citizen Marketers is a Firecracker. Firecrackers are the one-hit wonders of citizen marketers. They can attract considerable attention because they have created a song, animation, video, or novelty that generates a lot of interest but tends to die out quickly as the creators go on with their other work.
  • The interesting thing about a firecracker is that they wouldn’t make it very far without the easily available production tools and the support (although short sometimes) of the other 3 F’s and their equivalent Tipping point persona.

The fact that they are similar is probably no coincidence. The concept of The Tipping Point, is exactly why Citizen Marketing is successful.

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