Ah... affinity groups. We all have them. We are a part of many, whether we realize it or not. From the clothes we wear to the music we listen to, down to the teams we support, and the products we buy — they're everywhere. They account for our needs and wants and reflect our values and lifestyles. Amazon affinity groups are just one type I can mention. It has 13 employee affinity groups but they are becoming increasingly popular (and resourceful) as a marketing tool as well. The affinity groups membership program allows employees who identify with a certain group to connect and engage with each other. The benefits are two-fold: First, Amazon employees get to connect with like-minded people. And second, companies can use affinity groups as a way to target marketing initiatives. When done right, affinity groups can create a strong sense of community and loyalty among employees and customers alike. Businesses, in general, have long understood the power of affinity marketing. It's one of the smartest things you can do to reach your target market. So, what exactly is an affinity group? And how can you use affinity marketing to grow your business? Keep reading to find out...
What is an Affinity Group?
When it comes to marketing, targeting affinity groups is one of the smartest things you can do. As I just mentioned, Amazon knows this well. It's evidenced by its successful Amazon Prime program. What then are affinity groups?Affinity groups are simply groups of people or a customer base who share common interests or characteristics. That could be something as general as being a member of a particular generation (like Millennials). Or it could be something more specific, like being cat lovers or avid gamers. The key to successful affinity marketing is understanding the consumer needs of your target group. Then, discover the best way to reach them through an effective marketing distribution channel. Value-added services are also vital, as they give people another reason to join and stay with your program. Promotional materials, customer service, and loyalty rewards are all examples of value-added services that can keep affinity group members returning for more. If you're thinking of starting affinity partnerships or an affinity marketing program, doing your research ensures you're targeting the right audience. Once you have a solid understanding of your target market, you can start planning your marketing strategy and working on ways to add value for your members. With a little effort, you can create a successful affinity marketing program that will help you build long-term relationships with your members.Psst... Hey there... Are you interested in establishing an affinity marketing program for your home services company? Wizard of Ads™ would be elated to strategize a successful program that meets your business's and customers' needs. Book a call today!
Find Your Tribe
“Identify a tribe. Develop the tribe. Market to the tribe.” – Ryan Deiss
In a Wizard Academy class he taught, Ryan Deiss had that to say about affinity groups. What exactly does he mean?Affinity groups have an affinity for, or an attraction to, something specific. And that something is almost always a value or belief system. To identify an affinity group, look for people sharing common values or beliefs.Value + Belief = Affinity GroupIt could be as broad as all Republicans or all birdwatchers. It could be as specific as Harley-Davidson riders or Christian home school mothers who love to cook. The point is, the more specific you can be, the better. The narrower you can cast your net, the more you’ll catch of the type of fish you’re fishing for.
The Law of Attraction
The Law of Attraction states that like attracts like. In other words, you attract people who hold the same rsonance as you. That's why it’s super important to be clear about who you are. The universe will match your frequency and deliver people who are a vibrational match. You can relate the law of attraction to affinity groups. When you’re clear about your needs and wants, you’ll attract others who are also clear about their needs and wants. That creates a powerful force of attraction. For example, if you're a plumber, you can attract people who appreciate how you approach plumbing challenges. If you're a roofing company that places repairs ahead of replacements, you'll attract people who want the right roofing solution, not tjust the cheapest roof. The better you deliver your message, the easier it will be to attract the right people. When it comes to marketing, businesses use all sorts of affinity strategies and tactics to reach their target audiences. At the end of the day, one important rule all businesses should live by is knowing your audience. Your audience is the group of people, or affinity group, who are most likely to buy your product or service. To be successful, you need to understand what they want and how to reach them.Affinity groups are attracted to each other because they share common values and beliefs. For example, Harley-Davidson riders share values including freedom, independence, and self-reliance. They also share beliefs such as a love of the open road and a passion for motorcycles. These values and beliefs attract Harley-Davidson riders to each other. They also attract other people who share these values and beliefs. People who don’t share these values and beliefs are less likely to be attracted to Harley-Davidson riders. And that’s okay!The goal is not to attract everyone. The goal is to attract people who share your values and beliefs. When you know your values and beliefs, you can start to look for others who share them. That's the beginning of finding your affinity group. Affinity groups can be large or small, formal or informal, online or offline.
What Really Matters Is…
“Tell me what a person admires, and I’ll tell you everything about them that matters.”– Maggie Tufu
In other words, to know a person’s values and beliefs, look at what they admire. For example, someone admiring professional athletes is likely to value health, fitness, and competition. Someone who admires artists probably values creativity and self-expression. Knowing what a person values can help you start understanding their behavior. When you know their behavior, you can begin to predict it. That's the key to marketing to any group of people. You need to understand their values and beliefs so that you can speak their language and appeal to their needs. Magicians, for example, are some of the best marketers in the world. They know how to read people and understand what they want. And they use this knowledge to give people exactly what they desire. To be a successful marketer, you must learn to do the same. You must understand your audience's values and beliefs to appeal to their needs.
Who Controls the Gateways?
Data miners. Data miners are the people who collect, analyze, and sell data. They have become some of the most powerful people in the world because they control the gateways that allow us to access the internet. Data miners use this power to segment the information that we see online. They do this by tailoring ads and content to appeal to our desires. For example, Mark Zuckerberg made billions by allowing advertisers to reach affinity groups on Facebook. This process of data mining and tailoring content is called microtargeting. Microtargeting is a powerful tool used for good or evil. On the one hand, microtargeting is used to sell products and services we actually want and need. On the other hand, microtargeting is used to manipulate our emotions and get us to believe things that aren't true. Remember, you are the product. That's why everything you find on the web is free to you. You're not paying for it with money, you're paying for it with your data. And that data is priceless. It's valuable to companies because it allows them to micro-target us with ads. And it's worthwhile to bad actors because it allows them to manipulate us. So, how can we protect ourselves from microtargeting?
- Be aware of it.
- Make sure you get your information from reliable sources.
- Think critically about the things you see on the internet.
Just because something appears on our screen doesn't mean it's true. We have to be careful not to believe everything we read. Also, remember that affinity groups can be useful. They can help us connect with like-minded people and learn about new things. But we should be careful not to let them become echo chambers. We need to make sure we hear a variety of perspectives so that we can make informed decisions. We want to make sure we belong to the right affinity group. Do you know your target audience?Do you know their affinity group?Do you understand their needs and wants?If not, Wizard of Ads™ can direct you to the right resources. Book a call.