Marketing to Digital Tribes


What is meant by “Digital Tribes”

According to The members of digital tribes are defined by who they hang out with on the web or via their mobile devices; it is about what interests a person has, and what networks they communicate inside of. The development in technology has allowed people to communicate at all times globally. There are 3 basic functions of digital tribes: sharing of knowledge, a place to interact and the creation of collective rules.

Members of a digital tribe normally share a common interest e.g. sport, fashion or a service. However, it has now become more difficult for marketers as people tend to have lots of different interests nowadays. Consumers are not as brand loyal as years ago more selection and competition e.g Inglot vs Benefit.





Peoples interests are shared over many different social media platforms expressing their opinions. This allows members of digital tribes to interact with each other.


Examples of Digital Tribes

Tune Drop on Facebook is a group where people interested in Djs and House music interact, sharing videos and tagging each other in recent posts.











Another example of a digital tribe is Beauty Boxx, where members post questions in relation to beauty and fashion looking for advice and recommendations. Beauty Boxx currently has over 105,000 members and there have been over 3,000 posts in the last 30 days.


Characteristics of a Digital Tribes

1. Tribal loyalty: It is important the members within a digital tribe are loyal to each other and the area of interest. Sports teams such as Liverpool are often recognised for their long-lasting team loyalty. Tribes such as restaurant guides don’t tend as loyal. The more loyal the tribe the more likely to prolong the life span of the business.

2. Tribal competitive landscape: This is based on similar tribe groups which may have many of the same members. It considers the quality of services offered in a competitive nature. The greater the propensity towards a free/advertising revenue model, as it will be difficult to provide a unique value proposition.

3. Tribal wealth: The wealthier the tribe, the greater its ability to support a pay revenue model. This allows for greater opportunities such as attracting new members and expanding the digital tribe.

4. Tribal size: The larger the digital tribe the more likely they will be targeted to sponsor products and receive free items. However, a small tribe will have to pay to target certain markets. Understanding the overall size of the tribe is important in evaluating revenue opportunities.

5. Sharing of functional knowledge: This is a key element of a tribe through helping each other the tribe grows stronger and more knowledgeable. For example, on Beauty Users are seen asking questions and others are offering their advice and opinions.

6. Place of social bonding: This allows members with similar interests to interact and form bonds over common areas of interests. This lets them create a sense of belonging and distinguishes them from others outside the tribe.

7. Creation of collective rules: Tribes create and share a set of collective rules and behaviours, which allows tribe users to distinguish each other from non-tribe members, for example, camping out in front of Apple stores before the launch of a new product.

To find out more on Digital Tribes visit this Ted Talks video by Lynette Young.

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