Jeffrey K. Rohrs is vice-president of marketing research and education at ExactTarget, and the author of Audience: Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Fans & Followers.

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A recovering attorney, bacon-lover, and Cleveland sports victim, Jeff heads up the Marketing Research & Education Group at ExactTarget. In that capacity, Jeff co-authors the Subscribers, Fans & Followers research series—an ongoing examination of how today's online consumers interact with brands through email, Facebook, and Twitter.

I invited Jeff to Marketing Smarts to discuss his new book, Audience: Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Fans and Followers.

Check out the video of our conversation:

Here are just a few highlights from my talk with Jeff.

Your audience can leave anytime, and you have to constantly earn the right to talk with them (02:45): "There's this giant hole in our thinking about content marketing right now. The folks who are really the thought leaders in the space understand this—Joe Pullizzi, Ann Handley, Jay Baer—they get that if you have great content, you'd also better have great audiences to consume that content, because the days of 'build it and they will come' are kind of over. They've been over for a long time, but it seems like...every few years, we have to learn that lesson with the Internet... Having a great, owned piece of media is very different than having an audience to consume that media. The book is really about getting marketers to have this conversation about...proprietary audience development...because there's a misnomer out there that you can 'own' an audience, and you don't own any audience. In this era of permission marketing, no audience is owned."

Your company needs a dedicated person to grow your proprietary audience and maintain it for the long-term (05:33): "Business development is about the sale.... Proprietary audience development—and what I think is coming, which is a title 'Director of Audience Development' within marketing departments—that person is about building audiences that aren't just there for the short-term sale. They're there for the long-term opportunity. In the book I have distilled this all down to a...directive that I call the 'Audience Imperative,' which is that we need to use our paid, owned, and earned media to not just sell in the short-term but to increase the size, engagement, and value of our proprietary audiences over the long-term."

Get permission to send push notifications so you can engage your audience via mobile (08:00): "On mobile devices, engagement's critically important, because it's great to get the download of the mobile app, but if you didn't ask for the email address, if you didn't ask for push messaging permission, you have no means to get them back in. So you see lots of apps get downloaded—and you probably have this on your own smartphone—there's like a death screen: they get pushed to like the third or the fourth or the fifth screen, and you downloaded it with great intention, but then it never gets used again."

Stop undervaluing email as a means of communication (6:40): "Most important of all is value, and this is what varies fro each brand.... Which channels, which audiences provide you the most value? For years, email has been undervalued in the marketing stack, and people are now beginning to awaken to the fact that that is a foundational layer, with a high return on investment."

For more information, visit, or follow Jeff on Twitter: @jkrohrs.

Jeff and I talked about much more, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!

Music credit:Noam Weinstein.

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