The Psychology of Gap Marketing

Gap Marketing. What. The. Heck.

Gap Marketing is the idea that, when you’ve done everything you can to cover the large target audiences, there are still small gaps to fill.

Gap marketing is laptop stickers, teeshirts, even designating wifi network IDs that push the brand.

Gap marketing is finding interesting applications for a product, service or brand outside of the norm.

Gap marketing targets those areas that aren’t covered by targetted advertising buys, radio and television spots, or sponsorship events.

It’s the understanding that not everyone really needs to do their own billing, but Freshbooks (aff) makes a nice tee-shirt.

Gap marketing is understanding that AOL might suck as a company, but Frank Gruber, Christina Warren and Grant Robertson are loads of fun to hang out with.

Gap marketing.

At senior levels of marketing departments, ROI and P&L are the buzzwords. How much Return on Investment will this initiative net. How does an event effect our Profit and Loss sheets.

While always important, gap marketing humanizes a company or a brand in a way that an ad buy cannot. It makes a brand more approachable.

When you’re running a business, the most surefire way to increase sales is to make your customers feel like they know you, your company and your brand. Sure, you might make a sale otherwise, but making the customer feel like they have something no one else has will ensure a brand loyalty. Hey, I know those guys.

Last week, I spent the day at Ford Motor Company. Going into the day, I was not a Ford fan. They were yet another big company with expensive products. Worse yet, they have a history of failure. Does Found on Road Dead ring a bell with anyone?

Spending the day on campus allowed me an insight into a brand that I felt like no one else had. Will I ever be bought and paid for? Not on your life. Do I have a personal identification with Ford now? Hell yes.

You see, Ford engaged in gap marketing. I’m sure no one in their marketing department realized it was called that. Heck, I didn’t before I began this post. Yet they did. Although the day was filled with many typical faces in the automotive press, they brought a gap audience in as well with various bloggers from all walks of life. We weren’t auto bloggers. We weren’t Ford connoisseurs. We were normal people given an opportunity to own something, though small, that made us feel special and important to the big company.

Gap marketing.

Aaron Brazell

Aaron Brazell is a Baltimore, MD-based WordPress developer, a co-founder at WP Engine, WordPress core contributor and author. He wrote the book WordPress Bible and has been publishing on the web since 2000. You can follow him on Twitter, on his personal blog and view his photography at The Aperture Filter.

30 thoughts on “The Psychology of Gap Marketing

  1. Aaron, this post hits the bull’s eye. This is such an important topic.The other day I made the following Ping.fm post, “All the rockstar blogs give you 80% of what you need to know. It’s that last 20% that will give you 80% of your results.” Your post falls into that 20% category that I rarely see. What you describe here is a profoundly important marketing concept.”Spending the day on campus allowed me an insight into a brand that I felt like no one else had. Will I ever be bought and paid for? Not on your life. Do I have a personal identification with Ford now? Hell yes.””We weren’t auto bloggers. We weren’t Ford connoisseurs. We were normal people given an opportunity to own something, though small, that made us feel special and important to the big company.”Getting one’s customers to feel a sense of ownership in one’s product is critical. Foster it, develop it, and support it. What you describe above is essential to effective marketing.

  2. Aaron, this post hits the bull’s eye. This is such an important topic.The other day I made the following Ping.fm post, “All the rockstar blogs give you 80% of what you need to know. It’s that last 20% that will give you 80% of your results.” Your post falls into that 20% category that I rarely see. What you describe here is a profoundly important marketing concept.”Spending the day on campus allowed me an insight into a brand that I felt like no one else had. Will I ever be bought and paid for? Not on your life. Do I have a personal identification with Ford now? Hell yes.””We weren’t auto bloggers. We weren’t Ford connoisseurs. We were normal people given an opportunity to own something, though small, that made us feel special and important to the big company.”Getting one’s customers to feel a sense of ownership in one’s product is critical. Foster it, develop it, and support it. What you describe above is essential to effective marketing.

  3. Aaron, this post hits the bull’s eye. This is such an important topic.The other day I made the following Ping.fm post, “All the rockstar blogs give you 80% of what you need to know. It’s that last 20% that will give you 80% of your results.” Your post falls into that 20% category that I rarely see. What you describe here is a profoundly important marketing concept.”Spending the day on campus allowed me an insight into a brand that I felt like no one else had. Will I ever be bought and paid for? Not on your life. Do I have a personal identification with Ford now? Hell yes.””We weren’t auto bloggers. We weren’t Ford connoisseurs. We were normal people given an opportunity to own something, though small, that made us feel special and important to the big company.”Getting one’s customers to feel a sense of ownership in one’s product is critical. Foster it, develop it, and support it. What you describe above is essential to effective marketing.

  4. Aaron, this post hits the bull’s eye. This is such an important topic.The other day I made the following Ping.fm post, “All the rockstar blogs give you 80% of what you need to know. It’s that last 20% that will give you 80% of your results.” Your post falls into that 20% category that I rarely see. What you describe here is a profoundly important marketing concept.”Spending the day on campus allowed me an insight into a brand that I felt like no one else had. Will I ever be bought and paid for? Not on your life. Do I have a personal identification with Ford now? Hell yes.””We weren’t auto bloggers. We weren’t Ford connoisseurs. We were normal people given an opportunity to own something, though small, that made us feel special and important to the big company.”Getting one’s customers to feel a sense of ownership in one’s product is critical. Foster it, develop it, and support it. What you describe above is essential to effective marketing.

  5. Aaron, this post hits the bull’s eye. This is such an important topic.The other day I made the following Ping.fm post, “All the rockstar blogs give you 80% of what you need to know. It’s that last 20% that will give you 80% of your results.” Your post falls into that 20% category that I rarely see. What you describe here is a profoundly important marketing concept.”Spending the day on campus allowed me an insight into a brand that I felt like no one else had. Will I ever be bought and paid for? Not on your life. Do I have a personal identification with Ford now? Hell yes.””We weren’t auto bloggers. We weren’t Ford connoisseurs. We were normal people given an opportunity to own something, though small, that made us feel special and important to the big company.”Getting one’s customers to feel a sense of ownership in one’s product is critical. Foster it, develop it, and support it. What you describe above is essential to effective marketing.

  6. Aaron, this post hits the bull’s eye. This is such an important topic.The other day I made the following Ping.fm post, “All the rockstar blogs give you 80% of what you need to know. It’s that last 20% that will give you 80% of your results.” Your post falls into that 20% category that I rarely see. What you describe here is a profoundly important marketing concept.”Spending the day on campus allowed me an insight into a brand that I felt like no one else had. Will I ever be bought and paid for? Not on your life. Do I have a personal identification with Ford now? Hell yes.””We weren’t auto bloggers. We weren’t Ford connoisseurs. We were normal people given an opportunity to own something, though small, that made us feel special and important to the big company.”Getting one’s customers to feel a sense of ownership in one’s product is critical. Foster it, develop it, and support it. What you describe above is essential to effective marketing.

  7. Aaron, this post hits the bull’s eye. This is such an important topic.The other day I made the following Ping.fm post, “All the rockstar blogs give you 80% of what you need to know. It’s that last 20% that will give you 80% of your results.” Your post falls into that 20% category that I rarely see. What you describe here is a profoundly important marketing concept.”Spending the day on campus allowed me an insight into a brand that I felt like no one else had. Will I ever be bought and paid for? Not on your life. Do I have a personal identification with Ford now? Hell yes.””We weren’t auto bloggers. We weren’t Ford connoisseurs. We were normal people given an opportunity to own something, though small, that made us feel special and important to the big company.”Getting one’s customers to feel a sense of ownership in one’s product is critical. Foster it, develop it, and support it. What you describe above is essential to effective marketing.

  8. Aaron, this post hits the bull’s eye. This is such an important topic.The other day I made the following Ping.fm post, “All the rockstar blogs give you 80% of what you need to know. It’s that last 20% that will give you 80% of your results.” Your post falls into that 20% category that I rarely see. What you describe here is a profoundly important marketing concept.”Spending the day on campus allowed me an insight into a brand that I felt like no one else had. Will I ever be bought and paid for? Not on your life. Do I have a personal identification with Ford now? Hell yes.””We weren’t auto bloggers. We weren’t Ford connoisseurs. We were normal people given an opportunity to own something, though small, that made us feel special and important to the big company.”Getting one’s customers to feel a sense of ownership in one’s product is critical. Foster it, develop it, and support it. What you describe above is essential to effective marketing.

  9. Aaron, this post hits the bull’s eye. This is such an important topic.The other day I made the following Ping.fm post, “All the rockstar blogs give you 80% of what you need to know. It’s that last 20% that will give you 80% of your results.” Your post falls into that 20% category that I rarely see. What you describe here is a profoundly important marketing concept.”Spending the day on campus allowed me an insight into a brand that I felt like no one else had. Will I ever be bought and paid for? Not on your life. Do I have a personal identification with Ford now? Hell yes.””We weren’t auto bloggers. We weren’t Ford connoisseurs. We were normal people given an opportunity to own something, though small, that made us feel special and important to the big company.”Getting one’s customers to feel a sense of ownership in one’s product is critical. Foster it, develop it, and support it. What you describe above is essential to effective marketing.

  10. Aaron, this post hits the bull’s eye. This is such an important topic.The other day I made the following Ping.fm post, “All the rockstar blogs give you 80% of what you need to know. It’s that last 20% that will give you 80% of your results.” Your post falls into that 20% category that I rarely see. What you describe here is a profoundly important marketing concept.”Spending the day on campus allowed me an insight into a brand that I felt like no one else had. Will I ever be bought and paid for? Not on your life. Do I have a personal identification with Ford now? Hell yes.””We weren’t auto bloggers. We weren’t Ford connoisseurs. We were normal people given an opportunity to own something, though small, that made us feel special and important to the big company.”Getting one’s customers to feel a sense of ownership in one’s product is critical. Foster it, develop it, and support it. What you describe above is essential to effective marketing.

  11. This is an excellent post that has much larger implications than being relevant to the big companies. All companies large and small need to make this connection. Huge holes being missed by many in their marketing efforts :-) Great post.

  12. This is an excellent post that has much larger implications than being relevant to the big companies. All companies large and small need to make this connection. Huge holes being missed by many in their marketing efforts :-) Great post.

  13. This is an excellent post that has much larger implications than being relevant to the big companies. All companies large and small need to make this connection. Huge holes being missed by many in their marketing efforts :-) Great post.

  14. This is an excellent post that has much larger implications than being relevant to the big companies. All companies large and small need to make this connection. Huge holes being missed by many in their marketing efforts :-) Great post.

  15. This is an excellent post that has much larger implications than being relevant to the big companies. All companies large and small need to make this connection. Huge holes being missed by many in their marketing efforts :-) Great post.

  16. This is an excellent post that has much larger implications than being relevant to the big companies. All companies large and small need to make this connection. Huge holes being missed by many in their marketing efforts :-) Great post.

  17. This is an excellent post that has much larger implications than being relevant to the big companies. All companies large and small need to make this connection. Huge holes being missed by many in their marketing efforts :-) Great post.

  18. This is an excellent post that has much larger implications than being relevant to the big companies. All companies large and small need to make this connection. Huge holes being missed by many in their marketing efforts :-) Great post.

  19. This is an excellent post that has much larger implications than being relevant to the big companies. All companies large and small need to make this connection. Huge holes being missed by many in their marketing efforts :-) Great post.

  20. This is an excellent post that has much larger implications than being relevant to the big companies. All companies large and small need to make this connection. Huge holes being missed by many in their marketing efforts :-) Great post.

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