I promised to explain what I meant when I used the word “zebras” in this earlier post. The idea is that just as zebras are pretty unique animals, so are your customers. Imagine describing zebras to someone who has never seen one, and how you need to have all the characteristics included before you finally narrow it down:
“You mean like whales and bats and kangaroos?”
“Yes, but they walk on 4 legs.”
“Toads? Sloths? Alligators?”
“Yeah, but they have stripes”
“Oh, like tigers and coral snakes and hornets!”
“Except they look like a horse.”
“Like donkeys and Great Danes and seahorses?”
“And they have to have ALL those qualities”
“Now I get it!”
There is only one animal that matches all those criteria. My point is that the days of mass marketing to a demographic are over. You can no longer target “afluent 29 – 44 year-old males,” or “Small to Medium Sized Businesses.” You have to market to, “43 year-old Moncton bankers who play hockey and like old single-malt scotch and craft beer and are married to a marathon runner, who have 2 daughters, aged 6 and 4, and drive a ’99 Saab.” Hey wait a minute, there’s only one person in the world that matches that description!* That’s the whole thang – you have to market to that one person.
Now, you’ll probably want to have more than one customer, so you’ll have to market to a lot of other singular people too. But each marketing interaction must be between you and that one person. It’s no longer about one-way, one-to-many, broadcasting. Now it’s two-way, one-to-one conversations.
* It’s my friend Greg.