Monday, April 26, 2004

Marketing terms corrected

Seth posts on what Differentiation and Segmentation really are.

From Seth's blog:

. . . differentiation means thinking very hard about the market and your competitors and somehow making yourself different. Any rational person spending a fair amount of time with perfect information will have no trouble figuring out why you're different.

Segmentation is a variation of that, but it involves breaking the audience into pieces you invent, and then differentiating yourself for that segment.

I remember hearing these words in a marketing class in college, and I further remember very interesting talks about market segmentation. The professor said that segmentation was left to the will of the marketing person. How nice! I'll just segment the population down to a small enough pool that I know they will all buy my products. If I can't get it down to the really small pool that i want, I'll get as close as I can and then slightly differentiate myself so that people want to choose me.

How absolutely wrong! And how absolutely stupid. According to Seth, how absolutely selfish!

This reminds me of two small words an English teacher of mine used to write on people's papers: "SO WHAT?!" People really do not care about the companies that are interrupting their daily lives with advertising -- pop-up ads (solution: pop-up blockers), television commercials (solution: TiVo), magazine ads (solution: read them online), radio ads (solution: MP3 players and satellite radio), etc.

What consumers really, really want is something unique and different! We want that free prize. We want the purple cow.

There's a user's guide on how to create a free prize -- Free Prize Inside. Go buy a copy (listen, this isn't the first time I've suggested you buy this book, and note that I am not linking to Amazon from here so that I get a commission if you buy through me -- just pick up a copy, it really is that good).

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