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Try This Simple “In-The-Know Marketing” Trick

Screen Shot 2013 12 01 at 16.20.47 235x300People just love to be “in the know”. But you already knew that, right?

We all do.

But how does it work, “to be in the know”?

In essence, for you to be on the “inside”, there also has to be an “outside”.

This makes in-the-know marketing techniques somewhat tricky; most companies really don’t want to shut any potential customers out.

But truth is — sometimes you really should create an “outside” by design:

The Way We Love To Help People Out

Let’s say you’re at a dinner together with a group of friends.

One of your friends get into this rant about how expensive it is to own a car. Taxes, gas, insurance, parking spaces. And how cars have a tendency to need fixing when you simply don’t have the time.

But then you happen to know about a creative solution — a new car-sharing service gaining traction in your neighbourhood. Maybe your friend should consider that option? So you tell your friend about that particular car-sharing service, simply to offer your friend a viable option at no real expense of your own.

Now, you didn’t start the car-sharing service. You have no stock in it and you don’t know anyone working for them, either. But still you endorse their service to your friend. This is of course awesome PR for the car-sharing service!

Here’s what happened:

The INFORMATION GAP between the two of you allowed you to offer value to your friend at no real expense of your own.

In short, you knew something that your friend didn’t — but should!

Putting The “In-The-Know” Psychology To Work

The hard way to reap the benefits of word-of-mouth marketing in the example above would be to actually start a car-sharing service. But chances are that you already have your business.

How can you leverage “in-the-know” psychology in an easier way?

Let me use a popular Swedish blogger as an example, Kenza Zouiten (Wikipedia). She’s a successful fashion model and lifestyle blogger with a seriously influential following online.

Her first name is pronounced  [/kinsa] — which is not obvious from only reading it, right?

Screen Shot 2013 12 01 at 15.57.01 940x429

Since she’s a blogger lots of people talk about, you can tell straight away if those people are in the know or not. And this effect effectively creates an “inside” and an “outside”.

This creates a sense of belonging by strengthening the bond between those who knows how to pronounce her name correctly. And it gives her fans a way to “invite” outsiders by educating them!

On that same note, but on a larger scale, it’s not entirely clear for most people how to pronounce Nike or Adidas (lots of different variations exists).

Having “in-the-know” aspects of a brand doesn’t necessarily hurt your business — it can in fact strengthen it.

How I Put It To Use — And How You Can, Too

Personally, I love this little psychological effect.

I understand how it must look to international readers of this blog with “Doktor Spinn”. When I shifted from blogging in English instead of Swedish, I could have just changed the name to “Doctor Spin” instead.

But I like the idea of having a select few ambassadors out there, who knows. And who knows how that Silfwer is pronounced silver. Here’s another example:

Screen Shot 2013 12 01 at 16.24.12 300x190I  run Mad Science Digital. Now, that’s quite a mouthful, right?

When people talk about us, most say Mad Science which of course is more than okay. But those who are in-the-know, they know that we say MSD when we talk about the agency.

And I’ve discovered first-hand that more and more important people has started referring to our agency as “MSD” rather than “Mad Science”. Voilà!

People simply like to be in-the-know — and being in-the-know seems to spread fast amongst tastemakers!

How You Can Implement In-The-Know Marketing Today

Here’s how you can implement this little trick today:

1. Figure out something about your business that only you and your closest circle knows about. It’s important that this isn’t intuitive, i.e. if people don’t know about it, they would go about in the wrong way.

2. Start talking to people using that exclusive knowledge. It helps if it’s valuable of course, but it can be a curiosity as well (as with Kenza’s name). And don’t go crazy about broadcasting it.

3. Have patience. Soon you’ll be noticing how more and more tastemakers and influencers moves from the “outside” to the “inside”.

Good luck!

Does your business have an in-the-know marketing trick? Tell me in the comments, I’d LOVE to be in YOUR in-the-know! :)
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6 comments… add one

  • Good question! There are quite a few things related to Tribaling. The basic in-the-know is that Tribaling is a shortened version of “Tribal – MARKET – ing”.

    If anything they will know what a “tribe” is, and why it’s superior to traditional segmentation. Some of the people that appreciate my blog, will also adapt to my lingo over time. For example the concept of “tribal frequencies” and the roles found in the 7Cs of Tribal Influence.

    • I love it. In fact, using a specific lingo to draw people into your universe over time is another one of my favourite tactics!
      And since the question on “mysticism” versus “clarity” came up earlier:
      Your blog is a great example of why these two doesn’t have to stand against each other. Since you’re exploring the area of tribal marketing, there are many linguistic “holes” that needs to be filled. And you help the reader to do exactly that by giving them a coherent and functional language to talk about this subject. And that’s making things easier to understand (and to talk about) — not more mysterious or unclear.
      Thanks for commenting, Elia!
      Jerry Silfwer recently posted How To Write A Blogger Outreach Email

      • And to further expand on the linguistic aspect:
        I try to make a distinction between “blogger outreach” and “blogger collaboration”. I try to use the term “ramping up” instead of “going viral” as much as I can. There was no term for “honeymoon outreach”, so I try to get back to it again and again. And so on and so forth.
        The trick is of course to not clutter the discourse with buzzwords, but rather move things forward in how we talk about things.
        As a side-note — I really do think the Americans are awesome at doing this and we Europeans have tons to learn here.
        Jerry Silfwer recently posted How I Optimise My Mac For Getting Work Done

  • I got an interesting question on Facebook regarding this post:

    If you’re trying out a strategy where you portray your brand as more mysterious and less approachable, how can you measure success? And how does this hold up against trying to be as clear as possible in your communication?

    Personally, I think this question covers a way broader scope than this post, in which I outline a nifty little trick. I’m not necessarily suggesting that anyone should go “mysterious rockstar” on everyone.

    If we’re talking about branding on a broader scope, I like the way most fashion brands do it:

    They decide whether they want to be perceived as “iconic” (seclusive, heritage, elitist), “inspirational” (you too can look this good, with effort and sacrifice) and “democratic” (everyone can look this good, it’s easy). You choose your brand strategy, you roll with it, and you measure the outcome.

    When you measure these types of strategies, you often find that choosing ONE of them is the way to go, while blending these three types creates mixed messages and gets less traction.

    Now, can you measure a strategy beforehand? Well, it would of course be awesome. I do think though that we’ll be seeing a lot more data analysis and forecasting techniques in marketing, because brands won’t afford to pick the wrong strategy in the future.
    As for measuring this little trick above: As for whether people think “Mad Science” or “MSD”, that could be captured by keeping an eye on organic search, for instance. Or you could survey your market and have them write your brand name in free form and benchmark existing customers versus a norm. So I’m sure there are ways to see the effects with a little creativity.
    Jerry Silfwer recently posted How To Write A Blogger Outreach Email

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