I’m back for the second installment detailing the lessons we can learn from Malcom Gladwell’s The Tipping Point. Last week we focused on “Connectors” and today we’re going to talk about Mavens. Here are some key points on Mavens:
- A Maven is defined as an information specialist
- They have the knowledge and social skills to start a word-of-mouth epidemic
- They are both teacher and a student
- People go to them because they are known information sources
In the book, Gladwell states, “Mavens are really information brokers, sharing and trading what they know.” A good example of a Maven would be adult children who are looking for a retirement community for their aging mother. The Mavens learn everything they can before making their decision. They visit several places, learn the features and benefits, what current specials are being offered, the difference between rental and continuing care, whether it’s a company that is financially sound and the list goes on. Basically, they’ve done their homework, and when you happen to divulge you are also in the market for senior living for your elder mother, they tell you everything they know. In fact, they have probably already done most of the work for you.
Why is going after Mavens important for someone who works in marketing or sales? Quite simply, they are the ones who gather as much information as they can and pass it onto others. If you are putting on a huge promotion or event for your company, the people you want to target with your messages are the Mavens. Once they know about a special program or any information they deem exciting, their first instinct is to provide this knowledge to others.
I can tell who a Maven is by how interested they are in what I have to say. When I am networking, I am careful to always have my eyes and ears open for a personality I can identify as a Maven. Whether the Maven is asking for a second brochure to give to a friend, or taking notes, I know that this person is someone I need to remember when it’s time to get my message spread.
As Gladwell says, it’s the “law of the few” and as marketers, we must pay attention and use this law to our advantage. Reading the above description, can you think of anyone you know who is a Maven? Do you use their communication techniques to your advantage? Stay tuned next week when we talk about Salesmen!
Marla Levie, BSW, MA, President and Founder of Focus on Aging, has successfully been providing marketing consulting services to the elder care market and to other service-related professions in the Chicagoland area for over 20 years. Use the contact tab to email Marla for additional information about her services.