The future of tribal marketing

How familiar are you with the phrase ‘tribal marketing?’

It’s a concept that sits at the core of our very existence – hence the name – and it’s one that we live, breathe and redefine every day.

The concept of ‘tribes’ isn’t a new one, it’s a term that’s been around for a while and has been evolving rapidly. In fact, the emergence of tribal communities has got the marketing world in a spin and can now supersede traditional demographics when it comes to understanding consumers.


So what is tribal marketing?

Tribal marketing is an approach that understands the need humans have to identify with other humans i.e. the need to belong. This approach is behaviour driven and uses communication that resonates with an individual’s motivations which can often be aligned to that of the tribe. This used to predominately be a physical approach such as the utilisation of communities, clubs, schemes, but has now changed dramatically due to the proliferation of online communities.

Online tribes work very much in the same way as physical tribes with people wanting to converse, communicate allegiance and conform to the group’s standards and expectations. However, there is one big difference and that’s the sheer volume – tribes can exist on opinions, interests, brands, movements, hashtags, and our consumer can exist in multiple tribes at any one time and can quickly change, leave and join new ones at an alarming rate!


Why are tribes so important?

According to Accenture, 81% of consumers want brands to understand them better and know when and when not to approach them. But that’s easier said than done when there are zillions of tribes for pretty much anything, not to mention all of the motivations, behaviours and beliefs that occur within these tribes. This is where micro-tribes come in. Micro-tribes are a term used to describe the existence of tribes within your tribe. For example, you can have a tribe that supports Brexit. However, the people within the tribe may have different beliefs about what it means for the UK to leave the EU, forming micro-tribes based on the varying opinions.

People also exhibit different personalities depending on the tribe they are interacting with i.e. a political party and a charity therefore adding another level of complexity for marketers when trying to understand and find their consumers.


How do you tap into today’s tribes?

The answer is you don’t, the information is too vast and the subject matter too changeable. The data created when you study tribes is staggering and takes a lot of analysis. However, help is at hand with artificial intelligence!

What does this look like in practice? We use programmes that can deal with vast amounts of data i.e. if one consumer performs 5,000 actions in a day and we are looking at 50,000 consumers – no problem, we enable our algorithms to order, trend spot and most importantly predict outcomes. We can run infinite amounts of tests to understand tribal behaviour and the role brands can play. The removal of the human grunt work means that our data scientists are better placed to check the quality of output to improve results across the board.


Back to basics

This next phase in tribal marketing takes us back to basics. By reaching consumers with targeted messages that resonate with their motivation, it allows us to deliver that ‘holy grail’ of marketing – reaching the right consumer, with the right message, at the right time.

For more information about the new era of digital marketing or to discuss your digital content marketing requirements, get in touch with us today.

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