Cultivating Your Audience Part I: A Q&A with Jeff Rohrs


Jeff Rohrs, Cleveland native and author of Audience: Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Fans and Followers, spoke at the November AMA meeting. Elizabeth Wagner caught up with him soon thereafter to capture further insights about from the audience development expert.

Question:Please tell us about how you came up with your book title Audience: Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Fans, and Followers.

Answer: The book was inspired by our award-winning SUBSCRIBERS, FANS & FOLLOWERS Research Series through which we examined consumer intent when interacting with brands through email, mobile and social media. As I sat down to write the book, I realized I needed to address something far bigger than just subscribers, fans and followers; and so, the AUDIENCE idea came into being.

Question:Other than you, who are some of the leaders in content marketing thought?

Answer: The “Mount Rushmore” of content marketing thought-leadership in my mind are Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose of the Content Marketing Institute, Ann Handley of MarketingProfs and co-author of Content Rules!, and Jay Baer, author of Youtility and co-author of The Now Revolution. Each has long understood that instantaneous, worldwide distribution makes every company a publisher, broadcaster and entertainer.

Question:What books or reference material would you recommend on the topic – after reading your book, of course.

Answer: The three books that inspired me most were The One-to-One Future by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers. It just celebrated 20 years since its release, and it’s still just as prophetic today. Then there’s Permission Marketing by Seth Godin—the book that launched a hundred thousand digital marketing careers. And last, but not least, Flip the Funnel by Joseph Jaffe. That one helps the C-Suite understand why investing in your existing clients more than prospects may yield greater results in the social media era.

Question:You believe that the core concepts of marketing are sales, brand, service, content and audience. How does that fit in with the traditional product, price, place and promotion concept?

Answer:The 4 P’s are more the specific consideration when taking a product or service to market. Sales, brand, service, content, and audience are more like the 5 core responsibilities of marketing. Job #1 is always to make the sale. Job #2 is to build the brand because it makes Job #1 easier and differentiates you in the marketplace. Job #3 is to serve the customer relentlessly as their word-of-mouth can be your best form of marketing. Job #4 is how to create useful content related to your industry, products or services to attract interest and attention from consumers. And Job #5 is to constantly build your direct, proprietary audiences via email, mobile, social, and other channels in order to reduce your dependency on paid advertising and speed your time to market

To be continued … Check back for part 2 of the interview!

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