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Blog  > The Quarterly  > Will targeting tribes remain relevant?

15 March 2016

As businesses demand an increased return on investment for customer events and event sponsorships, the ‘spray and pray’ approach has become outdated and less successful as brands now target tribes But will it remain a relevant strategy, or is it already outdated? Magnetic Storm CEO Glenn van Eck attended a master class on event strategy and unpacks the tribe for event creation.

Client marketing teams speak about their consumers and event attendees in terms of tribes rather than demographics, which paints a 2D picture. Demographics worked when consumer data was limited, but with social media and big data readily available, one can now identify tribes for an added nuance. Uncovering attitudes, beliefs, behaviours, their motivations; leads to a focused and relevant marketing strategy.

Ten years ago, segmenting people was a shortcut to knowing what consumers wanted. But now there's no need for that shortcut - consumers can put across the things they love and who they are on social media. So if marketers are smart, brands will move away from segmenting, instead asking questions around what interests them culturally and where they naturally gather to create an event that will bring in the right people and a return.

Millenials are more fluid in their identity, freely sharing their likes and dislikes, beliefs and loyalties on public platforms. Brands should be targeting these and using to group their consumers in the strategy.

 

Get to the core

Tribes are permanent because of core beliefs yet temporary because people jump on the latest trend. But it is their belief system that holds a tribe together, everyone has personalities but they're connected by something at the core. So brands need to expand on this in their event strategy: 'I am supporting this community and this belief system.' Red Bull and its events do this perfectly; its events connect to its messaging, and has loyalty amongst its tribes.

Pinpointing a belief system isn't easy. Marketers have to seek the right mentality that works within the context of the brand and proposed event. Brands need a continual dialogue to connect with the right attitudes. They need to understand their consumer. In essence, consumers want to know the brand they're aligning with shares their belief, so it makes sense to create an event strategy that sings to this. You can't just create a one-off event to build a following - you must make sure every experience you create with consumers comes from the same passion point.

So as the speed in which temporary tribes are formed and disbanded rapidly increases, what does the future hold?

I believe there is no substitute for immersing yourself in the lives of your customers – and their customers - and taking a walk in their shoes. Working with big data, making sense of that and identifying how it can become hyper personal is very important. Primarily, though, is not to be distracted in event strategy by short-term crazes and to consistently focus on the core beliefs and attitudes of our target market tribes.

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