Many-to-One?

There are many advertising and communication models used by marketers today. A particular subset that I find very descriptive, direct, and conceptually easy to understand is that of one-to-many, one-to-one, and, many-to-many. Clear. Concise. Sequential. Wouldn’t the next logical progression in this model be many-to-one? After all, isn’t it the ultimate goal of marketing to bring the many to the one? Namely, the product or service sold by the corporation?

Let’s pretend for a minute that brand doesn’t matter, and that I actually have a point here. Isn’t many-to-many a little misleading? Facebook is many-to-many and Twitter is many-to-many. Here’s my point: Many-to-many does not exist without a network. Facebook is a media network. A corporate Facebook page is not.

Many-to-many does not exist without the goal of bringing many-to-one. So how do marketers practically participate in the many-to-many advertising and communication model? Easy, bring the many to the one by creating your own network.

KLM's Meet & Seat

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ Meet & Seat is a social networking program integrated into KLM’s reservation platform. The program allows travelers to link Facebook or LinkedIn profiles during seat selection. This allows passengers to select whom they wish to sit next to based on personal preference. KLM hopes this “social seating” tool will create better flight experiences. Reaction to the Meet & Seat program has been viewed as everything from an opportunity for business networking to a mile-high matchmaking opportunity. It may not be as big as Facebook or Twitter, but KLM has the “many” coming to the “one” with its own little media network for many-to-many interaction.

Below you can view a Taiwanese animation that pokes fun at the Meet & Seat program.


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