July 15, 2009

Are we Marketing to Ghosts?

How do you get sold to? What matters to you? What is VALUE?

These are really, from my shallow knowledge, some of the most important things a marketing group and organisation should consider when developing a marketing strategy. Now multiply that by your target market size. But what if that market size is 1 Million?

As most people, despite being sheep, are somewhat individual, thats the number of 'Segments' and 'Categories' you will need to target in your marketing campaign. Scary, huh? SO no wonder organisations choose to simplify that by pushing people, siloing them indeed, into core groups or segments. Just like a mandarin.

Solved then...or is it?

That was the question I had over coffee today with a social media colleague. Can we easily segment EVERYBODY? Is it OK to tailor ALL of our Marcoms to someone on the basis our modelling has pushed them into one segment or another? What if the modelling, the Analysis, the computer algorithms have CORRECTLY identified your market segment, but your ambitions, your DESIRES are focused in a different direction.

The computer program knows what you need, but YOU know what you WANT (to kind of paraphrase Bob Dylan).

Does Online Marketing, with it's easily adaptable marketing in the various pages allow all of your potential segments to be exposed to you or is there another way. Not everyone is 'into' Social Media, and even if they were, I imagine that still isn't the silver bullet. But what is the Digital Strategy, or even old school strategy which resolves that problem?

Is there a resolution? Or is it an acceptable gap in the Marketing world to corral everyone as the Marketing Algorithm says, focus on those who DO fit within that corral and hope for the best with the rest.

Do those who fall through the gaps or live in the grey places in between multiple segments MISS all the Marketing supposedly targetted at them or do they see the mish-mash of messages?

Are there strategies for dealing with this?

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking about this also last night.

    Think you have raised some important questions here, particularly around the now traditional model of marketing and in fact communications - to segment target audiences and put them into silos of perceived interest/need to target messages to them.

    If an organisation isn't listening to its publics in the first place, but is simply anticipating markets through 'common' segments such as 'generational traits', 'female domestic vs male income' etc I think they are missing the point these days.

    The internets and their hypercommunities of virtual yet sychronous interaction as well as perhaps a greater emphasis on individuals and their capacity to choose regardless of your push, are where a product or organisation's influencers really are.

    My thoughts from a PR perspective is we need to dispell with our now outdated modes of siloing and grouping. It looks nice on a chart, but I think an organisation's greatest cut-through these days can be a simple and transparent conversation about their product, service, idea or purpose. Trust that people who want or need you will listen, and will react. Let them know your credentials and the capacity, but don't guilt them into buying, scare them into acting or ignore them as a possible consumer - transactions now could and should be based on shared need and honesty in the proposition, not the way you push to each 'demographic'...