Top American marketer picks Dorset business community as a case study

American marketer Mark Schaefer, left, and Mark Masters of You Are the Media in Bournemouth in 2019 <i>(Image: John Espirian, Espirian.co.uk)</i>
American marketer Mark Schaefer, left, and Mark Masters of You Are the Media in Bournemouth in 2019 (Image: John Espirian, Espirian.co.uk)

A NEW book by a top American marketer features a Dorset business community as a case study in good practice.

Respected author, educator and speaker Mark Schaefer has released his latest book Belonging To The Brand: Why Community Is The Last Great Marketing Strategy.

The book features Poole-based business community You Are The Media as an example.

Mr Schaefer said: “I found three colliding megatrends. Traditional marketing doesn’t work like it used to. People want a sense of belonging and people today are lonelier, more isolated, and more depressed than ever.

“Most brand communities fail from the start because they are designed to sell stuff, and most people don’t want to gather for that reason! 70 percent of the communities that make it are focused on cost avoidance through customer self-service. That’s fine. But this is such a limited perspective.

“That’s why I claim that community is the most overlooked opportunity in the history of marketing opportunities.”

Mark Masters, founder of You Are The Media (YATM), said finding ways for people to join in, learn and connect, whilst continually experimenting, is how the community thrives today.

“Whilst we are located in Poole, our pulse reaches around the UK and overseas. We all want to feel a part of something. Even for businesses, this approach to be relatable and familiar shows who we are and the door we open for people to join in,” he said.

“Companies that can figure out how to move an audience to the next stage of being a part of a community, where people belong, is becoming a serious business approach. It just depends on how much you are prepared to give, test and tune in. From our online YATM Club, to offline YATM Game Nites, Creator Day (in April at Lighthouse, Poole) to our Friday swims at Sandbanks, it’s all about nurturing this sense of kinship.”

“It also makes you realise that when it comes to building community, producing content is not enough. It’s about welcoming people and how we can unite each other.”

Belonging To The Brand is available in print, Kindle, or an audio version narrated by the author.