There are lessons we should be learning from contemporary marketing. With broadcast television, they reach millions of people at the same time. This allows advertisers to get their message to these millions. The reach of these ads is so extensive, they are correspondingly expensive. Only major products with wide appeal are logical to advertise. Everyone uses toothpaste (we hope) or needs dishwashing soap. They don’t need to target their audience. Although, even with these products, advertisers look at the demographics of the show’s audience and accordingly, would not put these products on a kiddie’s cartoon show.
Along comes cable television and now viewers are watching channels that have programming that is particularly suited to what they are interested in. Whether it is all about the neighborhood you live in or your favorite hobby, you may find just the TV channel that fits your needs. This is an advertiser’s dream, it gives them access to a specific audience. An example of the specific market might be HGTV, targeting home renovators. If you had a decorative wall painting product, that could be just your customer.
Along comes the internet and we as individuals get on there and we end up sharing so much about ourselves, all the time. We tell people about what we do for a living, where we live, what vacation spots we’ve visited, who we’re hanging out with, what we like, our politics, on and on. We meet people online and talk to folks who really get us. And more important, we, as the makers of things, we get them. We get what they like, what they do, what they want and need. They tell us in all sorts of ways.
So when it comes to getting folks to sign up for a mailing list, I don’t feel we need to be devious about it. That’s because I think if we’ve done our homework, kept our ears open, tuned in to where our folks are hanging out, we’ll find them and they’ll find us. And we’ll both be happy about it.
The advantage of talking to the people who are truly our folks is that we don’t need to convince them. They are people who know what you do (make, sell, offer) and these are products and services that they want/need/like. In the meantime, of course, you keep finding more new people like them who are “your folks”.
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