Don't Make Them Jump; Satisfy Them on the Spot

Traditional mass marketing segments audiences. If you’re a conglomerate that sells clothing, you open different brand name storefronts to serve each different demographic. If you’re a restaurant conglommerate, you open different brand name restaurant chains to serve different taste in food.

Media companies are mistakenly using that same mass marketing mentality online, even though online isn’t really a mass medium.

I’ve recently heard from many media companies who are planning to launch local niche sites about for brides, mothers, Hispanics, tourists, car fanatics, young professionals, etc. Separate sites for separate demographic audiences. These companies might have good intentions, but if you’re a Hispanic mother, must you jump between two sites? If you’re a young professional Hispanic woman who’s getting married, must you jump among three sites? And if you’re managing those media companies, do you really want to have all those separate sites which you must register, build, operate, and market?

Why not instead just operate a single site whose contents dynamically match each user’s own needs? Why send the users to one or more sites to match their needs when your one site should instead match their needs? Why make them jump when you can satisfy them on the spot?

The Hispanic mother will see her culture’s content plus stories for moms. The young professional Hispanic woman who’s getting married will see content reflecting her culture, age, profession, and marital intent. This would be less wasteful for both the user and the media company.

One thought on “Don't Make Them Jump; Satisfy Them on the Spot

  1. I would argue there are two problems with your suggestion.

    1. How does my site dynamically generate the correct mix without my asking for a large amount of registration information – something most users don’t like to do.

    If you’re talking about a custom news page like “MY Times” It could be created from feeds from any number of verticals to create your unique aggregation.

    2. Am I ALWAYS interested in being multidimensional? Am I, as a web user, allowed to decide that at this moment I’m ONLY concerned with ONE of my interests and I don’t want to think about the other aspects of my life at that time? If I’m into Fantasy role playing games and I’m also a hardcore political junkie, does that mean my gaming site should include content from the Drudge Report or some political blogs?

    Just because Google’s “search the world” approach seems to be setting the media’s agenda for them doesn’t mean that the solution is to be more like it. You actually might want to be less like Google to differentiate yourself.

    And while it is not fashionable for serious Internet Gurus to admit that print ever did anything right, there may be a reason why the magazine racks are filled with titles catering to niche interests. Perhaps people LIKE to escape into a single topic area at times.

    From a media company’s perspective, given the relative ease that database driven content can be repurposed, why not offer a series of narrow cast sites along with your aggregation site? More doorways into your content, more likelyhood of being found through organig search, and a chance to capture new audiences that may not think of the flagship brand as being a destination for a specific topic.

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