In his latest blog post, Whether or which , Seth Godin makes an excellent reference to the strength of new media in expanding market share vs. expanding the market in general. I’d like to take his concept a step further by contending a hidden market exists which, when tapped, acts like market expansion with all the benefits of market penetration. And new media is the perfect way to gain access to it.
Within the Marketing 1.0 paradigm market penetration concentrates on bringing new customers into your existing market and market development looks to convince existing members of the market to use your product. But what if I told you there was a gray area of your market lurking in the shadows? One that’s made up of individuals who exist in your market and would use your product, but your Marketing 1.0 tactics have not reached. There is. Do not misread! This is not about "reaching the unreachable". It is about leveraging the strengths of new media to reach those individuals currently in your market beyond the reach of Marketing 1.0, but perfectly poised to be touched by Marketing 2.0.
I’m talking about the new "preferred method of contact". Don’t send me an email and expect me to read it, even if it does have my name personalized at the top. I get many of these every day, and I read none of them. Do @ message me on twitter. If you’re message is relevant and interesting, I’ll RT to all my friends and you’ll get more than you bargained for. Create interesting and relevant information consistently and I’ll follow you at your twitter account. Want me to opt-in to your newsletter? Instead, how about a Facebook profile I can become a fan of? Skittles did a great job with their profile and now I see updates right next to the status of my best friends and family, along with nearly 900,000 other people. That’s 900,000 individuals who said, "yes Skittles, you may market to me". That’s a Marketing 1.0 value of 30,000,000 given the traditional 97% failure rate of mass emails!
What’s left? Plenty. How about a blog? Have something relevant and timely to say and customers will listen… but only if you listen too. Make sure comments are enabled! Think of a mass email as shouting at your customers. Now consider a blog to be a conversation. Which would you prefer? Customers are people to, and they don’t like being talked at or marketed to any more than you do… possibly less. Remember, you’re not relevant and interesting until your customers say you are. And when they do, or they tell you how you could be, make sure you’re listening. A blog will open you up to both syndication and subscribers. It won’t be read by the unreachable, it will be read by the reachable you’ve been missing until now.
Want more? Take everything we’ve talked about and go mobile! Send your message straight to the iPhone with an application. WSJ just opened up previously paid content so iPhone users could see it. Amazon’s Kindle is a great innovation that made libraries mobile, now they did it again with Kindle for iPhone. Make sure your website has an easily navigated web version. Google has done a great job with their gmail , reader , and search sites. Text message, tweet, and have mobile friendly templates on your outbound emails. After all, when you finally do touch these individuals , make sure they get it, make sure they open it, and, if you get that far, certainly make sure they can read it.