Build a Tribe and your Business will Thrive

Image of many chairs in a stadium.

Yesterday’s successful marketing strategy involved blasting customers with online advertising until they had no choice but to pay attention. I call this the “deer in the headlight technique”. Today this is no longer the case. Customers have now evolved and are suspicious of strong arm marketing tactics.

Not only are they more savvy, but an entire generation has grown up in the age of Google and as a consequence have become more desensitised to constant advertising. Their brains have adapted and can now subconsciously filter out a lot of the advertising noise.

To make matters worse, world populations have grown enormously. The miracle of the inter-connected globe has brought online billions of previously isolated population groups. These are the people who now compete with you for your customers attention, and often do so for cents on the dollar!

This has resulted in an environment where venturing online involves wading through a storm of hungry advertising chatter, constantly enticing and beckoning for your attention.

How does the human brain react to this constant bombardment, you may ask?

Online noise desensitises people

What happens, is that when online noise increases, people become increasingly suspicious of everything and less likely to trust anyone.

The interesting thing is that when people can’t trust outsiders they fallback on the age old decision making mechanism of consulting with trusted advisors. Previously, this involved engaging with a trusted village chief or respected authority figure prior to making a decision.

In modern times these decisions often involve spending money. As a business you should be asking yourself:

“How can I engage with potential customers in such a way that I am seen as a friend, community member or tribal authority?”

The answer is simple.

It’s time to go Tribal

You should behave like a trusted friend or community member behaves. Simply put, this means you should give freely without expecting anything in return while consistently sharing valuable information that your customers will appreciate, enjoy and find beneficial.

Doing so, not only keeps potential customers coming back for more, but reinforces the association that you are a knowlegable authority figure in your particular niche.

Finally when a customer is ready to make a purchasing decision they will most likely purchase from you as you have already established and demonstrated past engagement through quality, authority and trustability.

Today the winning approach is slow and steady wins the race.

You are probably thinking: “wow, that sounds like a ton of hard work and effort.”

Yes, you are right, it does require a lot of online marketing work and effort, but in the long run its really worth it.

Being a tribal leader really works

  • By acting more relevant you actually become more relevant.
  • By serving your tribe, you land up improving your business and making your products even better.
  • By building a strong bond with your tribe, you reduce your business’s dependency on the whims of outside services like search engine changes.
  • By catering to serving humans and not search engines you build longevity .
  • When you build a tribe online, you indirectly send the quality signals that the search engines are looking for.
  • When customers feel they are part of something (your tribe), they tend to remain loyal and stand by you even when the going gets tough.


  1. I really enjoyed the article. It really is true how marketing and consumer perceptions have changed in this generation. I have taken note of the importance of doing this for my business in order to create a connection with our customers and have jotted you down for Melbourne SEO talent. Do you think its just the younger online generation who is more switched on, or its online users in general?

    Thanks for the great post!

    • Hi Susan, thanks for the comments, glad you liked the article.

      I would say it is predominantly younger users who have grown up with internet as part of life who are more switched on and are less effected by traditional marketing. In regards to filtering out constant advertising noise I think all people do this regardless of age. Its like the constant background hum/buzz that all refrigerators make, its always there, yet we seldom hear it, we have filtered it out subconsciously.

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