What Market Are You Exactly?

Marketing is an art that requires a solid foundation of science for ultimate success.  If you are a marketer and don’t know your market, you have failed at the very core of your business and success will depend on ephemeral luck.  None of that is new, of course; Edward Bernays codified it in the 1920s, but it had been well understood for a very long time.

The micro-collection of marketing data — from grocery till receipts to phone use, google searches and online buying, twitter comments, FaceBook likes, and employment patterns, surveys and polls — has become a part of all our lives.  To service a mass market efficiently, this enormous breadth of data has to be analyzed, compared, and condensed into marketing packages or groups.  That’s part of the art.

The industry in the following image, taken from Visual Capitalist, is of less interest than the breakdown of the market into what the industry considers manageable groups from a marketing perspective.  Select the image to get a closer view.

 

You can already see some of the key words and phrases that marketers will use to aim at a particular segment.

The real point to make here is that every large company in every industry is conducting this kind of detailed research into you and your habits every hour of every day.  I recognise the value that some of that brings to some, perhaps all.  But I also recognize and have concerns about the dangers that arise when someone else has so much information about you that you can be manipulated to do things you would really rather not do — like vote for Trump, or sacrifice your rights for some petty convenience.

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