By Chuck Sink
Seth Godin is one of the most brilliant and prolific business thinkers of our time. He understands human motivation and behavior. That’s why I go to him for ideas. You might say I’m in his “tribe.” I choose to follow him because his ideas are valuable to me. And I’m a customer, having purchased one of his books and patronized his advertisers. I’m sure that Seth would be glad to know that I’m a follower and consumer.
On the other hand, let’s take the CEO of say, Proctor & Gamble. Right now I have no idea who that is, although I can find out in a snap. He or she might care about me as a consumer though, and really want my business for multiple products. Should I be loyal to their brands, I would spend hundreds of thousands, potentially a million on P&G products throughout the course of my lifetime. Multiply me and the numbers are staggering. I know I’ve used their products but I’m indifferent to them and most of their competitors’ as well. I’m bombarded with messages from them delivered through mass media every day and it hasn’t made a bit of difference in how I feel about their brands.
Now, I’m sure Mr. Alan G. Lafley (I just went to Google because I wanted his name.) would be concerned to know that most consumers feel as I do about P&G brands – indifferent to them vs the competition (product parity and no attractive differentiation). P&G broadcasts its messages at me and Seth Godin simply gives away his specialized “product” on the Internet, and somehow I find it because I seek it. He knows what I’m looking for because he specializes in understanding my professional needs. When I need something of his that he isn’t offering free, I go to Amazon and buy his book to be edified. In essence, I’m a micro market to Mr. Godin.
Whatever approach you use to push your message (create and buy advertising) in mass media to reach a mass audience, use the opposite approach on the Internet. Seth Godin gets the fundamental difference between Internet marketing and everything else (mass media; TV, radio and print advertising). Let me sum it up succinctly:
Web = “I seek and want your offering.” All other = “What do you want out of me?”
Seth himself points out, “When someone wants to know how big you can make your audience, your market share, your volume, it might be worth pointing out that it’s better to be important, to be in sync, to be the one that’s hard to be replaced. And the only way to be important is to be relevant, focused and specific.”
Mass media relevance is fading because the messages are mostly phony and manipulative. Seth goes on, “Mass marketers don’t like this and they often don’t even see it. They’re struggling to turn Snapchat and Twitter and other sites into substitutes for TV, but it’s not working, because it’s an astonishing waste of attention [for the consumer].”
Broadcast media exists mostly to enable mass marketers to do their job. Broadcast technology (TV) was essentially invented for that purpose, but the Internet was not invented to enable big brands to reach their audiences. It was first developed for the purpose of sharing information quickly among scientists – highly specialized knowledge.
On the Internet, whether it’s your website & SEO strategy, blog or social media channels, you need to think micro. Appeal genuinely to individuals who would benefit from the use your product or service and develop relationships with each one that connects with you. Since you read this far, we probably have a relationship and I want to thank you wholeheartedly for it! <3