Think about marketing channels, think about our three customers, and things become much more clear, don't they?
- Judy = 30+ years of practice shopping via catalogs. This is her domain.
- Jennifer = Inspiration, but she's going to combine inspiration with the internet in order to get exactly what she wants at a price she's willing to pay.
- Jasmine = Wait, I own a mailbox?
- Judy = On Facebook to see pictures of her grandchildren.
- Jennifer = Likes brands because she gets special discounts and promotions.
- Jasmine = Views Facebook as a utility, an extension of who she is, but would switch if something better came along.
- Judy = Owns a tracfone, or a Blackberry device if professionally employed.
- Jennifer = Owns an iPhone or Android device, browser-centric.
- Jasmine = Owns an iPhone or Android device, app-centric.
- Judy = Prefers to not receive email marketing messages.
- Jennifer = Thrives on email marketing, loves discounts/promotions, an avid subscriber.
- Jasmine = Finds email marketing to be "old school".
- Judy = Has no idea what they are.
- Jennifer = Loves getting coupons for free shipping.
- Jasmine = Indifferent.
- Judy = Used to paying for shipping, appreciates free shipping but doesn't expect it.
- Jennifer = Won't buy unless she's offered free shipping.
- Jasmine = Post-free-shipping, values a $399 handbag for $99 and demands free shipping.
- Judy = Loves a subset of brands that she has history with.
- Jennifer = Loyal to Google, Amazon, Apple, Verizon.
- Jasmine = Gamification leads to loyalty.
Now, every character crosses over into other categories in many ways, so these are not iron-clad rules by any stretch of the imagination. That being said, my goal is to get you to imagine different customers. A cataloger should not expect core customers to embrace an iPad app. A cataloger should not expect mobile devices to replace e-commerce, or to even expect e-commerce to replace the catalog among customers like Judy. A cataloger should not expect to generate five million dollars of net sales on Twitter when Judy isn't ever going to get her own Twitter account.
Too often, we fail to account for what I call "audience disconnect". Data I analyze strongly suggests that different audiences use channels differently. We have a responsibility to link audiences to the channels we manage.