Earlier in my career, I focused my work on assisting consumer marketers in their segmentation. One of my guiding principles was that Consumers are Humans and act like Humans vs. treating them as a demographic (which just looks at age, gender, etc.) for example. What does it mean to target humans:
- They are a Tribe: They are members of a group with common interests, lifestyles, hobbies, etc. It's important to understand these tribes because A a majority of buying decisions happen without anybody of the company or any content being used as part of that buying decision. Research from McKinsey says that across all industries, 63 percent of all buying decisions happen without anybody from the company being there.
- Know their watering holes: It's important to understand where these Tribes spend their time. Bikers might meet at the same place in the morning, for example. Or they might spend their time in the same types of online communities.
- Their Tribe has a common language: Members of this group have their own speech patterns, colloquialism and vocabulary. Just look at the Fiskateers, a community buit by a around the desire to design and discuss scrapbookers. The company did not try to build their own community. Instead, tehey asked those scrapbookers if they would like Fiskars to help set up a community. The scrapbookers said, “Sure, we will call ourselves Fiskateers. It’s going to be a close community. You need to talk to us before you can be accepted into the community. We will give parties, raves and demos….”
- They have their own rituals: Just go to any pre-school in the country and see how mothers (and fathers) get together, share parenting tips, attend the same parties, shop in the same places, etc.
- Think about reciprocity: Don't just sell. Build the relationship first. I don't go to a party and just give my business card to everyone when I arrive. I usually just give it to people I care about or want to maintain a relationship. Didn't someone say "treat others how you want to be treated
It's time to move way from the classical approach of channels, demographics, and just sales and to focus on people's tribes, their watering holes and their language.