There are many ways to segment your target market based on how well you know them. In a recent conversation, I contemplated the two different levels of relationships and connections.
The two levels are:
A. Those who we have relationships with. Dunbar’s 1990 research defines this cohort as the ‘150 to 250 people that you could call and would drop everything to go to the pub with you for a drink.’
B. Those we have a passing relationship with, who I refer to as connections – the multitude of contacts we’ve made over the years through various interactions and engagements. For the most part, we are connected to these people online through social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
Recent research has given me reason to expand the world of relationships and connections from two to four cohorts. These groups can best be described using the analogy of producing a theatrical play.
1. The ADVOCATES – these are close family and friends who one has deep relationships with, who will actively support the production (you) emotionally and even, financially. They will have the best seats in the house on opening night and proactively promote your play (you) to their personal and business networks.
2. The ACQUAINTANCES – these are people who know you and you know them but are passive relationships at best. They may support you if asked, will buy tickets to your play (perhaps not attend) and may tell a few of their friends about it.
3. The ACTORS – these are the people you know of but may not know you well. They play their part in the production, but you have no active connection to them other than their short-term role in your play. You want to get to know them better as they possess a talent/skill that you require to make your current production (future productions) successful.
4. The AUDIENCE – these are the unknown sea of faces in the crowd, the prospects, and strangers. They need to be actively convinced/engaged with to attend your production. If you interact with them effectively and efficiently, they will transact with you by attending your production. In addition, if their experience of your production is a good/meaningful one they may become Actors, Acquaintances or Advocates for you.