By way of summarising, here’s a chart of what the flow of traffic would look like if you set things up based around the Marketing Mantra:
Attract generally; attract specifically; engage fully; provide more
1. Post-commercial level.
At the top of the chart lies recurring, high level customer interaction with needs immediately being met — by definition, vacuums (needs, gaps, missing things) do not exist for the public at this level. Here is the ‘post-commercial relationship’, hard to imagine because it does not depend on the usual ‘consumer demand and supply’ model, or rather supersedes it. Pervasive affinity between customer/reader and supplier/writer is the norm.
2. Social media interaction.
At the level of the fully functioning social media group, life is a gestalt creation. Members of your groups participate and share freely. Your group is distinct from other social media groups, co-existing in relationships with them. Interest is created by making things distinct; within an ideal social media group, individual characteristics are strong and bright and capable of voluminous pervasive affinities (productive sharing, high communication).
3. Demographic selection.
Just outside your social media group is the traffic of individual prospects or potential readers. These are people who are clearly distinct from others, made up of unique characteristics. Demographics become more specific than below.
The traffic of as-yet-uncontacted individuals are partially swallowed up by generalities: character distinctions fade. Instead of individuals there is simply ‘traffic’, divisible into faceless demographic categories.
5. The 'masses'.
Below that, traffic ceases to be made up of distinct people and almost completely blurs into generalities; pervasive affinities become almost impossible.
Traffic becomes ‘the masses’.
Hopefully you can see that any attempt to ‘sell’ anything to Levels 3, 4 and 5 is both uneconomic and likely to bear zero fruit — and yet this is what ‘mass marketing’ tries to get you to do.
Only by forming your own group does faceless ‘traffic’ start to emerge into bright and interested individuals, capable of engaging and interacting with each other and with you in reality. And only this seed-bed of participative affinity can yield the ‘post-commercial’ relationship which you need to sustain a joyous career as a writer.
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