A Mass Market of One

by: Charles Gaiennie on


It is sometimes said that the sweetest sound is that of our own voice. What this means is that if you want someone to really pay attention, talk to them, about them. But in marketing, where the mediums of communication often include billboards, television commercials, newspaper advertisements and radio ads, there is a fundamental conflict in doing this – by design, these mediums are designed to reach the broadest possible audience with the broadest possible appeal. But in successful marketing, saying the wrong thing to the wrong audience is worse than saying nothing at all. So what’s a company to do?


Here are some suggestions.

Start by recognizing that your total market is actually made up of a bunch of smaller markets, each with its own set of characteristics and preferences. It’s called segmentation and it’s key to identifying who your market is and what they are interested in. It’s the foundation of approximating the experience of talking just to them about what interests them the most.

Take me as an example. I am an avid guitar player. Not a great guitar player, but an avid guitar player just the same and I love to get advertisements about guitars. So you would think then that guitar stores should be loading me up with whatever guitar-related message they can, right? Well, not quite right. To begin with, I am not just a guitar player, I am an acoustic guitar player and I have very specific preferences as to the brand and type of guitar I like. So any guitar store that sends me catalogs about their latest ax-shaped shredder guitar is just going to annoy me and cement in my mind a commitment to stay as far away from their products as possible. However, send me something about the anniversary line of solid wood, spruce-top Martins, Guilds and Gibson flattops and you have my undivided attention for hours! Get the point?

If all of this sounds hard, don’t worry. It’s not as hard as you might think, but it does require that you have the right tools at your disposal to identify and get in front of the right audience with your message. Advertisers are getting really good at this with cable, website and newspaper advertising, bringing on some very sophisticated techniques to help you get the right message to the right person at the right time.

Take our friends over at Charter Cable, for example. Got a new Cajun Seasoning Blend? They can drop your message right in the middle of the Paula Deen Show on the Food Network right alongside the Kraft Mac and Cheese spot. And it won’t be people in Minnesota seeing it, either, it will be the people in our community who can then get right up and walk into Rouses to get a can of the stuff.

Our buds at the Courier/Comet can do something similar as well based on key words you use to look up a story. Type in “sports scores” for example and, in addition to the latest scores, you’ll see information about the latest and greatest in sports and exercise equipment available locally. Many other great examples exist.

So when you’re ready to have a one-on-one conversation with a few thousand people, give us a call at 985.446.6088 or complete our request form now.

Until next week.

© Copyright The W.L. Gaiennie Company 2016