Affinity marketing is promoting an established brand’s products or services to a niche audience. The challenge with affinity marketing is finding the right audience. However, once found, the audience has a greater propensity to act on the message. Before jumping into a program, marketers need to thoroughly explore the unique dynamics of reaching out to an affinity group.

To execute an effective affinity marketing program, consider the following factors:

Business Model. A good business model enables companies to stay in the game while exploring the dynamics of their particular niche market. Dedicate resources to finding the appropriate affinity group and then develop and test messages. •Creativity. Marketers need to think of ideas and concepts that wouldn’t necessarily fit the model of mass marketing (e.g., broad messages for a broad audience). With affinity marketing, audiences are more discerning and more knowledgeable of the product and therefore only interested in specific types of benefits. Providing experience-based benefits is a key component to ensure real value-delivery and ultimately, success. •Discipline. Good direct response marketers methodically test and study the data. Trust your results—they will ultimately lead you to devise a winning affinity marketing program.

Paul Stanco Vice President of Product Development Norwalk, Conn.

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