Sunday, November 25, 2007

Affinity Groups Marketing

I came across an ad in the sports section of the paper recently that isn’t going to win any awards for aesthetics. But for sheer “targeted” marketing, it may end up doing just fine for its advertiser all the same.

Welcome to another edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

Set against the intensely up-close photo backdrop of a football, the headline reads: PITTSBURGH FANS, WE SPEAK YOUR LANGUAGE!

The columns of copy are split in two with the one on the left a short, alphabetically listed glossary of Pittsburgh (the city) jargon: “Arn” = Iron, as in Iron City; “Gumbans” = rubber bands; “Jumbo” = bologna, and “Kennywood’s Open” = (female readers, close your eyes…) Your fly is unzipped!

So what’s the point of this ad? Well, as it goes on to say in the second column, “Give the agent from da ‘burg a chance to quote your insurance needs.” Yep, it’s from a local representative from one of the nationally known insurance carriers. The guy even goes on to encourage folks to “Stop by for your complimentary ‘Terrible Towel’” that rabid “Stillers” fans enjoy waving at the games.

Mr. Insurance guy knows there are a lot of transplants in Charlotte, many of whom are from the “Arn City.” So, presumably in addition to his more conventional and universal advertising message to everyone else, he’s targeting his “own.” Or, maybe he’s only targeting his own. On a limited budget, nothing wrong with that, either.

Is that something you might consider – target “affinity” groups for your product/service with whom you share some kind of affinity, be it cultural, religious, avocational, whatever? With material specifically “constructed” to fit that marketplace. It’s an old saw that folks like buying from folks they like. But folks might REALLY like buying from folks who share the same interests, the same passions. And what they really like tends to compel them to buy again from that same source.

In the meantime, see you the first Tuesday of next month for another helmet-ful of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

Joel Kweskin

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