The Shift: How Mass Marketing Became ME Marketing

It’s our own fault. For decades, marketers were so busy building giant, “one size fits all” mass media campaigns and competing to win awards that we missed the turning tide.

From constant entertainment interruption to subliminal messaging, we tried it all. We kept bombarding the public with egotistical messages about how fabulous our products were and how unfulfilled their lives were without them, until the inevitable happened.

They tuned us out completely.

 Long before TiVo made its appearance, our brains has begun to filter out the constant barrage of advertisements. Instead of lighting up like Christmas trees at the sight of the latest sleek offering from ACME Corporation, they learned to block it out, just like white noise.

I grew up just as Rome began to burn. In the early 90’s, advertising aimed at children had reached a fever pitch, and Saturday morning cartoons for the playground set might as well have been called the “Buy Me” hour. My pint-sized crew quickly learned the power of channel surfing, a skill we’ve carried with us ever since.

 Thank you, my marketing predecessors.

 In today’s world, where we can block out nearly every one-way message a company could throw at us, organizations interested in survival must take another approach. TV commercials are on their last gasp. Banner ads? Dead. Billboards? Skyline pollution.

That Was Then…

Mass marketing no longer works for 90% of companies. Unless you are a mega-brand, no one pays attention to 95% of your marketing and PR efforts. At this point, it’s safe to say even giant brands are feeling the heat of sticking to conventional marketing.

 THIS Is Now.

If your organization is to survive, you must shift from mass marketing to ME marketing. The new message is targeted, designed to speak to consumers based on their individual tastes and interests. The mantra of today’s consumer community is: WIIFM? What’s In It For ME?

 

The day of the nameless, faceless behemoth is gone.

Humanize or die.

 

So, there you have it. How marketers killed the golden goose, and the opportunity rising from its ashes. Now that you know, what are you going to do about it? Will your company be a Me marketing case study or a mass marketing casualty?

 

How to Kickstart Your Social Media Plan in One Simple Step

If you hired me to work with your company on a social media marketing plan, one of my first 3 questions when I walked into your office would be:

“What is your primary customer persona?”

 

A customer persona, or buyer profile, is a clear picture of the target market you serve. What are the broad strokes of their lifestyle? How does your product or service fill a need for your ideal customer?

If you don’t have an detailed idea of who it is you hope to serve, constructing a successful social media program to connect with her is going to be difficult.

A high net worth banking institution is looking to work with clients holding significant assets, not first-year college students. The social content created for each of these groups should be totally different. Without a clear customer persona, your organization will waste time and resources creating general “push marketing” that doesn’t thoroughly engage anyone.

Different businesses have different customer personae. If your company serves more than one market segment, you must construct a clear buyer persona for each of them before you begin developing content.

 

Why One Size Fits All Doesn’t Work

 

The problem with generic, mass-media style marketing in an online environment is that it doesn’t speak to a core group. By attempting to grab the most eyeballs possible (a la TV advertising), companies miss out on the genius of social media. Creating digital content requires attention to the specialized needs of a niche market, segmented based on lifestyle, social interests, location demographics, or just about any other metric a marketer can imagine.

This gives your business a profound opportunity never before available to marketers. You can effectively engage multiple, specific customer groups in a highly interactive way. Savvy companies can now communicate with each customer type they serve, and receive direct feedback from those customers on every piece of content!

For example, your organization could create a series of how-to videos for your website, share them on YouTube and gauge your community’s reaction on Twitter in real-time. It’s an exciting time to connect with your market.

BUT…

First, you have to know exactly what your market looks like.

You can’t hit a target you can’t see.

Take the first step toward building a social community around your business today by getting clear on exactly who you want to reach with your social media efforts.

 

If your organization is ready to develop a strategy to connect with your customers in an authentic way, I’m here to help. Together, we can develop a content and social media strategy that engages your audience and goes beyond communication to community. Want to know more about working with me?