Most corporate marketing departments use techniques they were taught in school. These mass-market gems worked as late as the mid-90s. But online media and the ‘I’ve had it’ factor really killed them. Spammers are the only untargeted mass-marketers left.
Mass marketing always had a high waste factor. A targeted list reduced it, but response rates higher than 3% were considered outstanding. AOL’s carpet-bombing mailboxes with their get-started CDs won them a large market share among early Internet users, but many of those CDs ended up as coasters or landfill fodder.
And you’re sick of unfocused mass marketing. You’re watching less TV and you always tune out or TiVo to avoid commercials. You ignore most magazine ads - no time to read them. When was the last time you actually bought something from a phone solicitation?
Today, blogs and websites cater to very focused people, folks who want to know about specific topics like marketing to small audiences or taking better wildlife pictures without expensive lenses. Paul Gillin describes ideas for interacting with your audience with social networking.
That interaction is the key. Once they start talking to you, your audience will tell you what they like or don’t like, what new features or services they’d pay extra for, and where they find your product. That conversation tells you much more than surveys, and goes far beyond the limits of one-on-one interviews.
It’s the two-way street that makes it work. Your audience has a chance to talk to you about their passion, instead of being shouted at with a message they may not care about.
Sure, maintaining a blog requires good conversational writing skills and a little technical savvy. So did old mass marketing methods. The time spent is the same. And I prefer talking with people to guessing what they want. The old hard sell is dead.