The Fall of Mass Marketing
Being weird is the new normal. This is the message that Seth Godin put’s out with this book. There are a lot of similarities to The Long Tail.
People who aren’t normal are called weird. These are the people who have chosen to avoid conforming to the masses. Weird means you’ve stood up for what you believe in and not what the marketer wants.
Attainment of mass had been the goal for about 50 years. Average products for average people sold at a high price in volume.
We were trained from birth to please the many, to sell to the many, and to serve to the many. Now the weird are the many.
Mass Marketing is dead. Treating everybody the same and the one size fits all is no longer the norm. You have to market to the weird. Because now mass is the weird.
Remember You are rich if you get to make a choice. Poor means no choice, so the provider gets to choose. Here Take it or leave it is the only option.
The Bell Curve
The Bell curve is spreading. Almost everyone consumed the same thing before the internet. There was less choice and hence mass did well back then. Everyone cared about the juicy middle (mass) and people didn’t bother about the edges.
Mass Marketing and Mass Production allowed us to be efficient. The effort used to being heard was easier when everyone was listening, and there were fewer mediums battling for our attention, particularly the TV. TV ads were cheap and delivered mass to marketers. If you could advertise on TV, you could reach everyone because everyone watched the same thing.
Mass Marketing worked because there were only so many options. We had to enjoy doing what other people were doing and had to fit in. All of our choices are now heading in one direction, and that’s away from the normal.
Pick a Tribe
We can no longer be bothered by mass advertising. We simply shut them down. We no longer pay attention and we are sick of it. If normal isn’t your thing, choose a tribe.
Find a group or tribe where people share your interests and thoughts. Where there’s more choice, there’s less mass. You can become a part of a tribe on the other side of the world with just a click.
The ability to get connected with like-minded people will get your work amplified. You’ll be in a place where you’ll be appreciated for your work and you can have a bigger impact.
The main reason why people are shifting away from the normal is that there’s a loss of connection. When they become a part of a tribe, there’s a feeling of community and importance. Tribes matter and tribes lead to movements.
Consider the tragic story of Vincent van Gogh he sold only one painting in his lifetime and lived in isolation. His work could have been appreciated way more and he could have had a greater impact had he been a part of a tribe.
The Problem and Solution to Mass Education
As Einstein said, Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will spend the rest of its Life Believing that It is Stupid.
Everyone’s different and the world’s obviously going to judge them, but it doesn’t have to start from the school itself. The purpose of school is to just prep you for a 9 to 5. We go to school to be a worker bee. Just take orders and do what you’re told and if you don’t, there’re others waiting in line to take your place.
You can push a child in a direction they don’t want to go, but if he or she doesn’t want to do it, they are going to quit when the time comes. Instead, find out what weirdness they excel at and encourage them to do that.
A simple solution to the education system would be to embrace the weird. It’s going to be difficult, but it’s necessary.
Mass is no longer a scalable, predictable way to engage with the public. We’re not normal. We’re weird. All of us.