“Mob” The Emerging Medium Of Marketing

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1462 , Published on 17 June 2012

Change is the fact of the nature & everything has to be changed, so is the case of marketing, which has changed from word to word in the ancient times to today’s TV or Internet marketing, and now this is giving way to mob marketing.

So the question is what this mob marketing is & when it is used? Mob marketing is nothing but gaining attention of public through wired act like suddenly dancing in public, freezing in place, pillow fights, singing, silent raves, subway parties, zombie walks or doing some drama in public, which aims at gaining public attention towards the product or service or may be towards a cause. Now days when advertisement on TV is getting costlier days by days which in turn making advertisement unviable, the option of Mob marketing remains luring especially for a new product.

Today we are living in the age of information & marketers have encroached every place from morning tea to bed room, to give this information to their target audience, and now this target audience is gradually becoming insensitive towards this information, & now they do not pay the attention to a hoarding or a TV commercial and this forced many marketer to think about an alternate & more attractive medium to gain people’s attention towards the former’s (marketer’s) product or service or a cause

As they (customer) said if you tell me I will forget if you show me I may remember but if you involve me I will engage with you, so today marketers need to involve the public to get their message delivered effectively & this led to the emergence of Mob marketing which not only tell or show, but involve the general public to be a part of the message or medium itself

In this decade the world has witnessed many flash mobs from silent disco in London to dance at CST terminal last year on 26/11, these events have got huge publicity not only by the local media but even by national media. These marketing tactics were generally used to promote some cause but we had also witnessed some products from Intel Ultra-book to Nivea cream which were promoted through mob marketing and created a buzz in the market. Although in the history Mob marketing was first used in politics by cunning politicians through protests or Drama but now it is getting transferred to corporate world with some mutations.

The USP of Mob Marketing is that it is generally started or began with like minded individuals who suddenly assemble to perform weird act like Dancing, doing drama or protesting but it ends with involving unfamiliar individual performing with the group to have some fun this makes Mob Marketing unique. While organizing mob marketing seems a child’s play but there are some thumb rules which need to be followed to make the mob marketing successful.

The first rule is while the mob marketing or flash mob seems to be created in a flash but it is the biggest myth, the flash mob is created with a lot of so called intentional information leakage to the media or to the people who would be on the targeted site, so that these people will further inform to their friends and the purpose to leaking information to the media is to get news in the newspaper which will help in generating free PR.

The second rule Another USP of mob marketing or flash mob is that it gives live experience to the audience and it makes them active receiver of the message unlike passive receiver in case of TV add, so this mob marketing must be able to create excitement in the minds of the audience.

Mob marketing becomes effective by the fact that it cede the control of the communication to the mob or crowd and it is the crowd that controls this communication the marketing in simple words it is like crowd sourcing but its same strength can become destructive when the crowd or the mob itself lose control of the mob and we also have witness numerous fiascos where these campaigns have gone awry and created destruction ,although Flash mobs don't need to be intentionally violent to cause safety or other concerns. At Christmas time 2010, for example, a flash mob of 5,000 carolers turned out at the Roseville, Calif., Galleria causing the floor and foundation to sag.

Said by Turner and Killian in 1957“Giving free play to his feelings, without designating to himself all of the consequences of his acts, and escaping for a time from the bonds of convention can be an enjoyable experience for the individual”.

Conclusion & future

Although the concept of Mob marketing was developed 40-50 yrs back but in this decade this concept has been come to practice & previously I was generally used by politicians to gain free publicity but now this has with some mutations is used by social activists & corporate to promote their product or cause.

The credo of a flash mob is to not harm anyone & have a fun, and marketers generally believe that collective experience has the power which can be enhanced during these types of events but this same power can also become destructive when its communication goes out of control

I think that Mob marketing has the power & the capacity that can stimulate sales under the right circumstances, and today when the ABL (Above The Line) marketing is becoming more and more expensive Mob Marketing has the potential to become a become a channel which can connect marketers to the target audience in a more effective, efficient & more importantly exciting way.

Mob marketing will remain attractive to the marketer as long as people show interest in taking part in random weird act done in public, at the same time with the growing use of mob marketing the media may lose the charm of mob marketing news but will remain with us for the next few decades.

This article has been authored by Shubham Daseda from SIBM Bangalore.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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