Seth Godin strikes again. His latest book, We Are All Weird, makes a very compelling argument for the end of mass production and marketing. Basically, the information age has made the access to and the creation of information happen at an exponential rate, creating an ability for niche groups to arise, grow, and unite with relative ease.
Gone is the ability for marketers to create the “mass” where everyone tries to fit a particular, broad mold. According to Godin, the mass market was fueled by factory efficiency, where average products were created to supply the average person. It depended on the un-average — the weird — being isolated. If you weren’t a part of the mass, you were missing out, all alone in the universe. But now we have the internet, and no matter how weird you are, no matter how isolated you feel in your interests and passions, a community of like-minded individuals is a Google search away.
Mass marketing is over. That should be great news for salespeople, marketers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, writers, musicians, filmmakers, and artists. You can no longer distinguish yourself from the masses, because the “mass” is going away. That means you don’t have to try anymore. In other words, you no longer have to distinguish yourself from the masses. Now, the goal is to identify your tribe, and connect with them.
In the future, successful businesses won’t be built by identifying competition and crushing it. Successful businesses will be built by identifying your target audience, and taking very good care of them as only you can. It’s not about the power of your company, it’s about you. You should think about your company as a “You” — a living, breathing organism with a mission and values, created by the mission and values of the individuals who make up the company. Your company is no longer a force to be reckoned with, but a part of a community.
In other words, stop trying to impress everybody. Stop flaring out your feathers like a peacock. Take of your jacket, role up your sleeves, and get to know people. Determine what makes you unique, and celebrate it. You’ll find others ready, willing, and able to celebrate with you.
Simply put, stop focusing on your marketing message, and start telling your story!
Photo Credit: By Tatyana Zabanova (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons