Way back when in the dark ages before digital, I used to be involved in selling sports programming to sponsors. One of the truisms with respect to selling golf was that a lot of CEO’s played and that they would have no problem instructing their marketing folks to sponsor a tournament so they might have a chance to rub elbows with the best golfers on the planet. Heck, they’d even get to play in the pro-am with the golfer of their choice. The assumption was that they would see the world through their own prism and justify the marketing expense based on their own views of the world.
You might think that marketing in that manner is a piece of ancient history but you’d be kidding yourself. One can see exactly that same mindset at work today. For example, how many companies are spending way too much of their budgets on traditional media because the CMO never has streamed anything? How about the companies whose social media efforts are totally devoted to Facebook – a place where the head of social media spends hours reading her 50-something friends’ posts – when most of their young audience is over on Snapchat?
We can’t be everywhere. Even the biggest brands have limited human and financial resources and the smart ones allocate them to the places and platforms their customers use. You might find Buzzfeed ridiculous but if your customers find it entertaining, that’s where they need to find you.
One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to assume that our customers share our media habits, both content and social. It’s not a bad idea for you to share theirs, learning to use the platforms they use, even if those platforms aren’t where your friends and family hang out. You can laugh at the CEO who assumed all of his customers shared his love for golf, but you might be making the same mistake. Are you?