Most marketers have a long held belief in the effectiveness in target segmentation. There is a problem with that. Why? Because it’s 2016, not 1995.
Mobile communication has completely shifted applicability of a long held belief, that you can increase revenue by targeting your consumer demographics. Today, potential buyers are so much better armed with digital resources which empower them to make informed, sophisticated buying decisions. As a marketer, you need to understand what they hold most dear, time and attention.
Most marketing professionals learned classical market strategy theory preaching niche or growth market strategy. Both of these strategies have a heavy reliance on your ability to parse out your potential consumers. For example, it was easy to single out a group of 18-40 year old women earning more than $35k per year. All you had to do was enlist some market segmentation research tools like Nielsen or Claritas. This allowed you to pick medium channels this group of women usually consume and advertise on them. Here is the problem with this way of thinking, it’s not nearly as effective as it used to be. This is due to the massive attention shift to digital social media platforms. Today, 53% of smartphone users are on social media. These people are no longer looking at your targeted marketing advertisements on the Lifestyle, MTV, or Esquire channels. They are looking at their social media apps.
Still not convinced digital social media marketing is better? Just look at the numbers. As of April 2016, Pinterest had 100 million users, Snapchat had 200 million users, Twitter had 320 million, Instagram had 400 million and Facebook had 1.6 billion. If Facebook were a city, it would be the 5th largest in the United States.
Social media users are sophisticated. They selectively choose which content they want to watch. This puts marketers in the uncomfortable position of having to adopt a mass marketing strategy. This type of strategy ignores segment differences and instead, relies on emotional response content to drive consumer behavior. This is called content marketing. It’s not about creating content to introduce product or service anymore. It’s not about explaining product differentiation to your competitors either. It’s about producing stories that appeal to consumer’s values and beliefs so they create an emotional attachment to what you are selling.
Look at a company called Blue Apron. They sell perishable ready to cook, farm fresh ingredients in boxes with recipes. If you think they are just selling quality food, you would be wrong. They are selling convenience, time management, and food sustainability. All of these attributes appeal to consumer’s emotions and that is why they are succeeding. Their content marketing includes a blog that has professionally crafted videos about agricultural sustainability, locally sourced products, professional chiefs making cooking look effortless and how to videos showing you the most efficient way to slice onions. That is how content marketing works in the mobile smartphone social media world we live in today.
We are not saying ditch your currently marketing strategy, only, be aware of what is currently drawing your consumers attention and where. Consider deploying unique, professionally created content that tells stories versus pushing product. In short, stop trying to market as though it was still 1995.