The Marketing Corner: Six Degrees of Separation


There is a famous theory originally formalized by Hungarian author/playwright Frigyes Karinthy and popularized by American playwright John Guare, that everyone is connected to someone else by six steps or fewer. 

While these men were born in different eras, they understood the basics tenets—human beings and their behavior.

Today, technology is playing a big role in connecting people. Portable devices (cellphones and tablets) are going a long way in conceptualizing the six degrees of separation. With this in mind, small-business owners can capitalize on this theory and put it into practice. Human beings are at the source of connectivity, and developing a brand story is the best way to engage in a conversation with consumers. Millennials, especially, want to be a partner in the creation of brand stories. 

It’s a fact that people are repeatedly looking at their mobile phones to stay tuned with what is happening throughout the day. It’s true that consumers are constantly reviewing their mobile phones while in-store. 

With this much frequency in a stated behavior, shouldn’t marketers profit from this detail? The answer is, of course! Be creative about how you communicate your brand or product or service. As simple as this all may sound, there is proof in the marketplace by brands that executed campaigns that didn’t do well because they forgot to factor in the “human” aspect of the brand experience. 

Small-business entrepreneurs can be well served to be students of people and use consumer insights to be everywhere the consumer is. Most importantly, be authentic about that experience created socially and via mobile devices.

Adele Lassere is a marketing/advertising consultant with 20+ years of experience, freelance writer, and author of “Elements of Buying: A How To Reference Guide on Advertising for Business Owners,” available at Amazon.com. Adele was listed on Black Enterprise’s 2011 Top Execs in Marketing & Advertising and Black Enterprise’s 2013 Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing. Contact: lassere@bellsouth.net



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