Thursday, March 10, 2016

Infiltration Marketing Tactics: Recognize and Resist

(for lack of a better word)

Right off the bat, I'll tell you I stole most of this article... but it's something that says it better than I could have said it myself. Of course, I had to add some "highlights" to the article to drive the point home. You can chose to a.) ignore it, b.) accept it, or c.) resist it. The choice is yours. The masses will always chose both option a.) and b.) and some argue it's an inevitable course of nature that always occurs, with any popular trend, and that might be true, but it doesn't mean one necessarily has to follow the course nature leads. Regardless, it's something you should be aware of, regardless of the choices you make and who you choose to support along the way.

the more you know...

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Infiltration Marketing is a marketing strategy in which marketers [read: corporations who want your money] try to understand and infiltrate consumer culture at a local level, by identifying and engaging thought leaders and trend setters [the "chopper elite" is what I used to call them, but now it's more like the "sponsor elite"] within the community and targeting their communications. Marketers use various ways to try to make a strong emotional connection between consumers and the brand. Infiltration marketing also utilizes high-impact, exciting brand sampling events at local venues. "Would you like a free PBR or some Red Bull to help quench your thirst on this hot day?" It was pioneered by PepsiCo in 1995 with Josta. More and more companies are choosing to use Infiltration Marketing for their products and services now.

According to Simon Pride, an European account director at a marketing agency: "People are absolutely saturated with advertising these days [Presented by... Harley Davidson. Powered by... Harley Davidson] and we need to find new ways to capture their imagination and get them involved [read: get them to give us their money]. The Internet offers great opportunities to tell interesting stories about the brand [God, please don't show my anymore Dark Custom secret handshake videos], and to do so in more innovative and entertaining ways." [This does NOT mean lifestyle branding every single piece of property at your event, city [read: Sturgis] or other][...but yes, it does]

A very popular Infiltration marketing method used by some marketers is to access chat rooms [fuck me... forums] in the guise [read: fake] of an everyday user, in order to spread a marketing message as if it were a personal endorsement. [read: "as if" means FAKE AS FUCK] Glenn Collins, managing director of new-media agency Digital Outlook points out that the most active chat room users are just the kind of confident style-leaders many brands want to target. “With communities,[there's that word again... we need to replace it] you are hitting opinion-formers. It's classic word-of-mouth, he says. “Kids [he says kids, but he means YOU] are less susceptible to traditional marketing activity, but they respect what their peers say a lot more and this is where they get a lot of their advice from." When it comes to infiltrating a chat room, it is necessary to come up with a realistic persona. Occasional interlopers will be spotted quickly and either banned by the moderators who monitor many chat rooms, ignored or flamed by other users. [read: don't call yourself LolitasFromLosSantosHD] Digital Outlook's Collins says his company can spend several weeks monitoring a chat room before posting on it... 

The Important Tactics

1. Be in the customer's life in a non intrusive way.
"We're just Advertisers, or Sponsors... it's not our event."
2. Provide self-service information.
"Visit our Dealership"
3. Be everywhere you can.
"Can you put our logos on floor decals, signs, t-shirts, tickets, wristbands, cups, etc. etc... we'll pay you."
4. Match your goals with the customer's goals.
"It's all about the motorcycle right...???"
5. Provide the complete solution.
"We can replace that broken part for you and provide you with all the "custom" accessories you'll ever want. No need to buy from that little DIY guy over there working hard out of his garage..."
6. Look the part. 
floppy hats help... I mean, chicks in bikinis! Boobs are the greatest distractor in history.
7. Be real. 
I ask, how can you be real, if you're just "looking the part" ?
8. Show respect
Build upon what already is, as a parasite would drink from it's host, but allow the host to remain living.

All of the tactics above derived from feedback of consumers. There are many more theories in the industry when it comes to which ones work best, but all opinions from industry professionals are pretty similar when it comes to the list above.

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Ways to AVOID Infiltration Marketing Campaigns
( How to keep your Grassroot Events, Grassroots Events ... )

- Building Awareness on Infiltration tactics; recognize them and resist the influence.
- Never Partner-Up with a large Corporation. Eliminate the corporate footprint when one steps in.
- Create Events (shows, campouts, swap meets) your Friends not Fans would want to attend. 
- Cross Promotions with like minded people and friends. Support friends who support you.
- Put yourself on the ropes; let everyone know you are corporate influence free and not part of some profiteering effort by a large company/sponsor; this can be done easily on/across social media platforms by merely telling the truth.

- Don't be afraid to lose fans along the way.

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Kevin Hogan said...

Sounds about right~! I have found that I'm not attending so many events anymore. The whole thing has just lost it's flavor and I'm not fond of pablum. Too much "me too" going on now which is OK if that's what you're about, I was really loving the whole deal when everybody was building their own shit and helping each other out. I'm glad there are lots of the little guys getting to be bigger guys and making a living at what they love doing, but we lost something precious along the way me thinks. I guess when something cool is going on everybody wants to get on the train to coolsville. Maybe if I was one of the guys making the dough I would be playing a different tune I suppose. Still...I think it was more fun 10 years ago and when BornFree was just getting started. Good article dude!

24Cycles said...

Promoters grow events events cost money in turn the reason a event was started changes. Showing off the garage builder turns into big names to draw crowds otherwise you can't pay for event. There plenty of small grass roots events. We as people get hooked on a events name and prior experience hoping to find the old magic feeling. We get mad when that magics gone. Simply find a new grass roots event to support or start your own. If handful of people show its a winner.