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David Lee King

Where are your Customers Gathering?



You know that phrase “go where your patrons are?” It’s always bugged me. Not because of the concept – the concept’s great. But because of the grammar – that ending in “are” thing. It’s never sounded right to me (says David, who got a B- in grammar).

At the Free State Social conference last week, someone – not sure who – added a word to that phrase that made a lot of sense to me. Or maybe it just sounds better to my ears. Anyway, here it is:

Go where your customers are gathering.

Besides just sounding slightly better (to me, anyway), it also gives a bit of direction, doesn’t it? Where “are” your customers/patrons? You don’t have to look around every corner for them – just find the places they’re already gathering … then figure out how to exist in those places.

So – where do your customers gather? I can’t answer that one, because it will look different for every organization. My library’s customers gather … at the actual library, on Facebook, at the mall. At church. In schools and our one university in town. And probably other places, too.

Chris Brogan put a marketing spin on the phrase during a small group session. He said “the marketplace convenes where it’s convenient.” Where are those “convenient” places in your community? Facebook is convenient for a lot of people (but not the people you probably think of when you think of Facebook). Not kids and younger teens (although they’re certainly there). Think people with easy, convenient access to the web, at work, at home, at school … and on their mobile devices. Just one example of many.

Find those convenient gathering places – online and off – and take your message/your services/your library to those places.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • noshawna

    Funny; you don't like the way the statement “Go where your patrons are” but yet you don't mind fragments like “At church.” or “And probably other places, too.” You need a proof-reading service…big time.

    Look, as fun as criticizing your grammar and punctuation use would be, I have comments more important relating to your content. What you wanna-be-marketers don't realize is that by moving into the private spaces that make these sites like Facebook enjoyable for people to connect to others without the typical corporate agendas as the forefront (i.e. work, school, malls, church, the market-place etc) is what is precisely going to ruin it for both you marketers and the people that use it to connect to PEOPLE. We are all innundated constantly by people trying to target them with an invasive agenda. Now that Facebook has dwelved head-first into a market-network from a social-network, I predict you will soon see what others before them have seen; a mass exodus, completely marginalizing the marketers that destroyed it. Did NO ONE learn from MySpace?

    And BTW…when you mentioned in response to my other comment that you haven't had to delete a comment in 7 years; I just have to point out the obvious. David — that's because these are some of the FIRST comments (aside from yours and a few — very few — cronies of yours) to be made on this site. Just an observation.

  • http://www.davidleeking.com davidleeking

    Thanks for the prediction. As to criticizing my grammar – sorta looks a bit silly from someone using run-ons and misspellings. But whatever.

    As to my commenters – ha! That's funny! Wrong, but funny. Thanks for the giggles.

  • noshawna

    Your response is exactly more proof of your need to hire a proof-reader. Let me help you out.

    Via Wikipedia: A run-on sentence is a sentence in which two or more independent clauses (that is, complete sentences) are joined without appropriate punctuation or conjunction. It is generally considered to be a grammatical error, though it is occasionally used in literature and may be used as a rhetorical device. An example of a run-on is a comma splice, in which two independent clauses are joined with a comma without an accompanying coordinating conjunction.[1][2] Some grammarians exclude comma splices from the definition of a run-on sentence[3], though this does not imply that such usage is acceptable. A run-on sentence does not mean a sentence is too long; longer sentences are likely to be run-ons only when they contain more than one complete idea. A run-on sentence can be as short as four words—for instance: I drive she walks. In this case there are two complete ideas (independent clauses): two subjects paired with two (intransitive) verbs. So long as clauses are punctuated appropriately, a writer can assemble multiple independent clauses in a single sentence; in fact, a properly constructed sentence can be extended indefinitely.

    If you feel the need, please demonstrate how my response failed this criteria?

    Regardless, my commentary on your comment re: grammar was just the Trojan Horse, and you took the bait famously. In fact..I think you swallowed the bobber and swivel as well. You are knee-jerk reacting with all Pathos and no Logos. My theory was this; with a slight ironic and inteded-to-be-funny critique of your writing, your ability to keep to the topic of YOUR ARTICLE would be impossible. Yet, this is what should be –to a Social Media fan– the most important thing to be able to do. You have no response to the meat of the subject at hand, or do you still want to play shoolyard sand-throwing? This would explain the *giggles*.

  • noshawna

    “But whatever.” is called a sentence fragment.

    Via wikipedia: A SENTENCE FRAGMENT fails to be a sentence in the sense that it cannot stand by itself. It does not contain even one independent clause. There are several reasons why a group of words may seem to act like a sentence but not have the wherewithal to make it as a complete thought.

    This is basic 2nd grade grammar man; and boring.

  • http://www.davidleeking.com davidleeking

    You're correct – you used a fragment, and not a run-on (i.e., “or “And probably other places, too.””. I stand corrected!

    “This is basic 2nd grade grammar man; and boring.” – Correct again! So … why are you continuing?

  • http://www.davidleeking.com davidleeking

    Wrong-o, my man. It's my blog, so I can break my own guidelines whenever I choose. But again – whatever.

  • noshawna

    You are gaining zero respect in terms of your ability to defend your statements. I have made assertations, and then provided proof of this to support my claim. You have yet to do this. Generalized statements do not impress anyone, expecially in the blog community that can be cross-referenced and scrutinized — even months later.

    Really? You're referring to the paranthetical abstract though injection there? C'mon man…I know you can do better than that.

    Seriously…I don't want to continue talking grammar…this is by far the teritary point. Would you like to address the response to the content of YOUR article. That is why I continue, because I will not let you off the hook that easily. If you want to claim to be a part of the Social Media conversation, then stand up or shut up. Everyone want to talk “Social Media is so awesome…Kumbaya brother…I <3 you!” then BACK IT UP. Are you capable of looking past the intentional technique (I'M ACTUALLY TELLING YOU IT WAS A TECHNIQUE TO THROW YOU OFF; MUCH LIKE THE ONE'S MEDIA COMMENTARIES DO DAILY TO THROW OFF THEIR GUESTS) and becoming a true expert in your field and worthy of the public space you are taking; capable of handling a simple dig and showing passion for your chosen topic by addressing it; even if it isn't necessarily a take on your topic that you would say you agree with?

  • noshawna

    I didn't proof read out of passionate haste. Let me help make this clear to you.

    You are gaining zero respect in terms of your ability to defend your statements. I have made assertations, and then provided proof of this to support my claim. You have yet to do this. Generalized statements do not impress anyone, expecially in the blog community that can be cross-referenced and scrutinized — even months later.

    Really? You're referring to the paranthetical abstract-thought-injection there? C'mon man…I know you can do better than that.

    Seriously…I don't want to continue talking grammar…this is by far the teritary point. Would you like to address the response to the content of YOUR article. That is why I continue, because I will not let you off the hook that easily. If you want to claim to be a part of the Social Media conversation, then stand up or shut up. Everyone wants to talk “Social Media is so awesome…Kumbaya brother…I <3 you!” then BACK IT UP. Are you capable of looking past the intentional technique (I'M ACTUALLY TELLING YOU IT WAS A TECHNIQUE TO THROW YOU OFF; MUCH LIKE THE ONE'S MEDIA COMMENTARIES DO DAILY TO THROW OFF THEIR GUESTS) and becoming a true expert in your field and worthy of the public space you are taking; capable of handling a simple dig and showing passion for your chosen topic by addressing it; even if it isn't necessarily a take on your topic that you would say you agree with?

  • http://www.davidleeking.com davidleeking

    um … the content of my post was about “going where your customers are gathered.” Not about being “a part of the Social Media conversation.” There's really nothing in the post about “Social Media is so awesome…” So there's really no “take” there that I CAN talk about – because you're obviously NOT talking about my post. Maybe you need to re-read it?

    ps. – misspellings in your last comment: expecially, teritary, “Everyone want (sic) to talk”

  • noshawna

    Do you see how laughable it all is yet? If Social Media is so great, how do you take into account conversations like this? How do you account for the lack of context or the lack of non-verbals; the abuse of communicative techniques; and the lack of tolerance that is encouraged by you and other SM whore-mongers; a lack of tolerance that in a social setting would be considered rude, pathetic, and unacceptable; all in the name of Social Media Branding.

  • noshawna

    I am talking to YOU now based on information you have provided on this site. You failed long ago to address my point re: your article. Let me repost so you get it clear.

    “What you wanna-be-marketers don't realize is that by moving into the private spaces that make these sites like Facebook enjoyable for people to connect to others without the typical corporate agendas as the forefront (i.e. work, school, malls, church, the market-place etc) is what is precisely going to ruin it for both you marketers and the people that use it to connect to PEOPLE. We are all innundated constantly by people trying to target them with an invasive agenda. Now that Facebook has dwelved head-first into a market-network from a social-network, I predict you will soon see what others before them have seen; a mass exodus, completely marginalizing the marketers that destroyed it. Did NO ONE learn from MySpace?”

    Are you done with the spelling policing? If I critiqued all your articles, it would take up this entire space to point them all out to you. It's MOOT. It was meant to be IRONIC! Seriously thick….

  • noshawna

    BTW, I hate to even bring it up, but…tertiary…as in “third”…

  • http://www.davidleeking.com davidleeking

    OK … I wasn't addressing social media sites specifically. I was addressing places people gather (including social media sites). Places like Facebook is just one of many places people gather. Sounds like you're not a fan of organizations being on Facebook – that's fine. My organization's 1471 fans on Facebook and 1231 followers on Twitter might disagree with you. Why? Because they're finding value there.

    We try (and all organizations should try) to give value. People already come visit our organization because they get value out of it – we're simply doing the same thing on the web, and in other places people are gathering.

    Still not really the point of my post, but hope I answered your question.

    ps. – misspellings: “dwelve”.
    pss. – not thick – just poking fun.
    psss. – you keep calling me a wanna-be-marketer. I'm not. I'm a librarian.

  • http://www.davidleeking.com davidleeking

    Good! You caught your own misspelling, and corrected it. thanks!

  • noshawna

    Thank you for playing in this University of Colorado's Graduate program study of online communication. It took 14 responses for you to answer the question. Feel free to delete if you find it necessary. It was nice playing. I love the misspelling policing you found so important to your online message. ;) Peace and love.

    ZAP

  • http://www.davidleeking.com davidleeking

    FYI – I actually responded to your comment in my first response … but whatever.

  • noshawna

    “Thanks for the prediction — giggles” <—- That's what you are referring to as a response? “..but whatever”

    Come on. Stand up for yourself. You must be “leeking” something fo' sho'….you got pwned son.

  • http://www.davidleeking.com davidleeking

    Pwned? I'm simply having fun with a troll who is obviously jealous of
    another blogger, who got their comment deleted for a personal attack, and
    who uses coronadosux@yahoo.com as their email address.