A zealot is defined as someone who demonstrates excessive enthusiasm for a cause. In marketing terms, they are measured moreso by their satisfaction, than by mere usage patterns. They are willing to participate, often at their own expense, in programs to further the brand because of their belief in what it stands for.

Why hasn’t the intersection of marketing practices better connected with zealotry?  By definition, zealots can not be easily manipulated.  They already have preconceived ideas and are clearly not shy about expressing them.   Clearly they are individuals that will share what they know and feel. But, because they are actively involved in the brand, does their interest become too much of a good thing?  Are marketers in reality afraid of zealots – those who may know more than marketers desire – not only the promoted traits of the brand, but the inside workings and the less favorable characteristics? Is it a control issue? Is it one of understanding?

My take – zealots scare most marketers. Most companies want you to buy, but not get too involved.  That requires a greater commitment on the part of the brand. Not just better communications, but more listening.  And, a more authentic delivery.  Which means collaboration between marketing and operations.  Just doesn’t happen in a many places.

What is your take?  Is the concept of zealotry marketing understood and practiced?

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