When we’re all one in a million.
Gone are the days when just a few stand out from the crowd. Now, we’re all one in a million.
I don’t have TV. I say that because it surprises people, but it’s not entirely true. What I mean is, I don’t have cable TV. Instead, we have Apple TV and use it to watch only the shows we’re interested in on Hulu or iTunes. We like it this way. This means the television and movies we watch fit into our schedule, instead of having to fit our schedule to some network’s predetermined, one-size-fits-all timeslot.
In our desire to seek out content that appeals to us and mold it to fit our lives, we are not unique. Long gone are the days when almost every household in America tuned every night to one of three major news broadcasts, giving us a set of shared facts and experiences as a common platform from which to build personal opinions and preferences. We can pick and choose the cable or online news outlets that most appeal to us. We set our Twitter feeds to show only what we already care about. Even online searches are tailored to show results the search engine thinks will be relevant specifically based on our online history, location, friends, etc.
For our society, many believe the infinite possibilities of the personalized media experience have damaged our sense of unity and our ability to find any sort of common ground. And for marketers it has done the same, which can be both a blessing and a curse.
I sat down the other day to watch an episode of Mad Men (that, of course, was waiting for me at exactly the time I wanted it) and watched Don Draper give one of his iconic pitch speeches. He explained the deep significance of this product to the American dream and why his creative concept will boost sales because it satisfies every hope and desire of what the audience wants their life to be.
While Don’s speeches are lovely to watch, it hit me that we can’t do that anymore. As marketers, we can no longer rely on what we “think” our audience cares about because there is no longer one cohesive audience we’re talking to. I am a married, working, 28-year-old sorority girl from the Midwest, but that doesn’t mean I know anything about any other married, working, 28-year-old sorority girl from the Midwest. We are all just too different now to make generalizations based upon our own experiences.
What this means for us as marketers is that research is more important than ever, as is customization. (Check out Cameron McLauchlin’s excellent blog post about the importance of research, no matter how big or small your budget). As for customization, marketing automation software can help, but there are other ways to tailor your experience for each customer that even small businesses can adopt.
How can prospects get in touch with you? Do they have to call your office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, or can they email you whenever they like? Do you only have a printed newsletter you mail out with specials, or do you also have a blog or Facebook page you update regularly for those who don’t sort through their mail often? How flexible is your pricing structure? How targeted are your ads—do they look the same for your male, over-50 audience as they do for your female, 25-to-35 audience?
Customization can mean so many things and be exercised on a worldwide, corporate scale, or by the hometown business owner with two employees. No matter how you do it, make sure your information and services are as accessible to your customers as possible, because while your audience may not have many shared experiences anymore, expecting what they want, when they want it is one thing they do have in common.
Feature Image | Care and Maintenance | Zoysia Farms
Post Image | Stand Out from The Crowd Unique Golf Tee Game September 19, 20119 | Steven Depolo