The Community Club

Oana Filip
Oana Filip

Posted on

What's the one thing that differentiates marketing from community building?

I'm a community gal who's been nurturing communities within the creative industries for 11+ years. While most of my experience is in the offline arena, in 2020, I kicked off my first online community under Pixelgrade's brand, where I currently work. Oh boy, what an adventure! ๐Ÿ˜…

I also run a newsletter about comm building in my mother language, Romanian. My goal is to filter and adapt everything I learned to our culture and identity. Many times, frameworks and blueprints from other countries did not stick on my side of the world. We've been under communism for so much time that we still have trust issues, collaboration dilemmas, and so on.

So, could you please tell me what the one thing that differentiates marketing from community building is?

I know there are dozens of articles out there, but I would love to hear your particular thoughts on this one.

Looking forward,

Discussion (6)

jocelynhsu profile image

I'd say the biggest differentiator is that community building is all about making many-to-many relationships while marketing is often one-to-many. Marketing is more talking to your audience while community building is encouraging your audience to talk to each other and become a community.

oana profile image
Oana Filip Author

Crystal clear! Thanks a bunch, @jocely. ๐Ÿ‘

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

You could probably use certain marketing tactics for community building โ€” and you could probably use community building as tactics within a marketing funnel.

Marketing is an older discipline with lots of textbooks, professors, and study of the subject. "Community building" is probably less specific of a discipline. In that vein I tend to think of marketing as a shared language. If you use the term "segmentation", you are speaking in marketing. Whether it's a means towards community building as a big part of the bigger picture is probably a matter of what the most important parts of the exercise are.

I will say that community people tend not to really like marketing work, even if they are using some tactics.

oana profile image
Oana Filip Author

Thank you so much!

I also liked this distinction from CMX:

Marketing is how you get them in the door.
Community is their experience once theyโ€™re in the door.

Cheers! ๐Ÿ‘‹

techidev profile image
Techi-Dev • Edited on

Community building is creating a long term loyalty and relationship with potential partners, while marketing is a tactic to boost product awareness and increase sales volume.

adventuresofv profile image

Marketing attracts customers/clients
Community keeps them coming back for more + connecting members with one another, which can lead to all types of excitement [ie. collaboration]