Communities are Relevant


Communities are Relevant
By: Robert A. Kobek, RRP, President

It seems there has been a barrage of information and monetization and promotions surrounding the word “Community.” I hear it all the time and because as a believer of creating and working within communities as a marketing and sales vehicle, I am perhaps a bit more acute listener in the use of the word than most.

In our efforts to establish and maintain our business, we identify certain markets as “verticals,” like health care or time share or loyalty companies. We design marketing and sales plans to reach into those industries yet we forget one very important element. They are more than a vertical inside an industry they are also members of a community, with like-minded goals and concerns.

We also cater to verticals that may surround more personal choices like ethnicity, economic status, job description, LGBT, or any myriad of unending traits that cause us all to be a member of something, even a neighborhood.

I recently had the very high pleasure of a forum that had Francis Gaillard as the keynote that was followed up by a working session dealing with “co-creation” (think Nike + Community). That session was the spark, the catalyst of an awakening that put the whole “vertical market” into a new thought process.

Walking the talk is not an empty phrase. If you are intending to focus on a vertical, you might think about being a member of the community. After all, to be relevant, you have to relate.