Defying the conventional wisdom that slicing and dicing your audience is the best form of marketing, Procter & Gamble earlier this month decided to eliminate much of its microtargeting strategies on Facebook and other social media channels.
P&G spends more money on advertising and marketing than any other company in the world – $7.2 billion this year – but, as we see, it doesn’t spend it foolishly.
Here’s the lesson for the rest of us, and one that Warwick Davies suggested in a blog post just yesterday titled “Who Is Going to Take Your Business Away?”: Your customers are people, not personas.
I know event-focused blogs these days are full of advice about speaking of your show or conference in terms of its persona, which is fine. But your customers aren’t personas; they’re real-life people.
P&G found that targeting pet owners and large families with ads for air freshener left sales stagnant at best, but when they expanded their universe to anybody over the age of 18, sales rose. In other words, it wasn’t a particular type of consumer that was interested, it was a wide range of human beings who did or did not have their own reasons for freshening up the air in their houses.
Warwick, in his blog, has a three-point plan for transforming events to reflect today’s new realities. His final point is that organizers need to “build an affinity for people, rather than just targeting personas or groups of people or things.”
He confesses, as well, that it will be hard to do, especially for event organizers who are preternaturally disposed to controlling every part of the event process. But, Warwick concludes – and I agree – if we don’t do it, somebody else will.
Michael Hart is a business consultant and writer who focuses on the events industry. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.