Marketing is NOT Equal to Community

Lately I’ve been frustrated with the ambush of the term community, it feels as if it’s just  marketing following around this term like a shadow.  Perhaps it’s just that  – about growth, vigor and fertilizer?  I realize it’s a new channel for marketing, and marketing managers need to understand this channel the suite of all the other channels, but please, less not usurp the term community to equal marketing.  Which is why I like what Awareness  Networks is doing with it’s term social marketing.  If you look it up in the dictionary it reads: 

1 : a unified body of individuals: as a : state, commonwealth b : the people with common interests living in a particular area; broadly : the area itself <the problems of a large community> c : an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location d : a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society <a community of retired persons> e : a group linked by a common policy f : a body of persons or nations having a common history or common social, economic, and political interests <the international community> g : a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society <the academic community> . 2 : society at large
3 a : joint ownership or participation <community of goods> b : common character : likeness <community of interests> c : social activity : fellowship d : a social state or condition.

So now, help me understand how Community is equal to Marketing1 a : the act or process of selling or purchasing in a market b : the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service. 2 : an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer

From all the hype recently around social media, I’ve found it rather interesting that there is a supposition that marketing now is a community?    Ideally, perhaps the move will be that marketing will look to the body of individuals that are purchasing a good or service to discussion around features, functions and futures in a way that is beyond the historical approach to a focus group, but look at the new media as a way to hold meaningful conversations and extend the conversations with and amongst your employees.  I look to the day when we can say that Communities are viewed beyond just a group that we can now ‘sell goods and services’ but actually invite into a much larger series of discussions around strategy, product development and service.

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