Saturday, June 12, 2010

In Today's Marketing, Breaking Up Is Not Only Easy, It’s Mandatory

A long-time friend owns Photo Tour Excusions, a small business in D.C. that guides tourists and local folk in taking professional-quality photos while touring area attractions. Naturally, my friend is looking for ways to market his business. I was surprised to learn that, even with a fledgling enterprise, Lyn had already approached Groupon to represent him. When he wasn’t accepted there (not yet big enough), he signed up with a similar fast-growing service, LivingSocial.

Why was I surprised? Because go-local, name-your-favorite-poison online enterprises like these didn’t even exist two years ago.* Today, they’re the darling of twenty-somethings and other hyper-local cognoscenti who wouldn’t dream of clipping coupons, reading classifieds, finding a hot spot on the radio, or perusing magazine ads or billboards (wait.. what’s a billboard?).

Today’s fresh consumers want to hear the pitch from some other horse’s mouth -- preferably, a horse they know but, if not, a viral horse like Yelp, LocalKicks, Daily Candy, etc. etc.

The point is ..
Marketers and consumers are experiencing a sudden and overwhelming fracture/splinter/explosion of new media that’s competing with – if not outright slaying – the Goliath venues that dominated marketing for so long. Change, of course, makes opportunity.

The revolution is here because …
The new methods work just like the old with one major difference: The new methods ferret out, accommodate, and speak to splinter groups. Contemporary marketing isn’t worth squat if it’s not segmented.

Even television is breaking up …
Michael Hirschorn’s paean to change in New York magazine covers the radical TV producers who are churning out shows with small, but highly devoted, groups of “fans” -- shows like Breaking Bad, Jersey Shore, and The Boondocks.

The networks aren't happy, of course, but Hirschorn says niche TV is gold to advertisers. “On basic cable, in most cases, you need only a million 18-to-49-year-old viewers to call your series a hit … And if your show is considered ‘high end,’ you can get by with an audience of even fewer, since in an ever-more-fractured marketplace, advertisers will pay to reach the kind of people who watch Colbert or Stewart.

The REAL point is…
Market Segmentation. Duh. When you make your marketing plans for 2011, give some thought to your market segments. Think niche; think local, think fractured. Then think creatively about how to break up. It won’t hurt.

Note: Local is an important part of segmentation. Trendwatching (a must-read resource, by the way) talked about the importance of local in 2007 when it pitted global vs. local, saying: “… In a world that is seemingly ruled by globalization, mass production and ‘cheapest of the cheapest’, a growing number of consumers are seeking out the local, and thereby the authentic, the storied, the eco-friendly and the obscure.”

* Groupon, which grew out of an earlier effort called The Point, got going under its current name just last year. LivingSocial, started by a Facebook developer, got a $5 million venture-capital infusion in July 2008.

-- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo

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