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Can We Market to One Person at a Time or Must We Mass Market?

In the ground breaking movie “I AM ” successful Hollywood director, Tom Shadyac (Liar Liar, Nutty Professor, Bruce Almighty), experienced a life threatening head injury, and shares his powerful journey to try and answer two very basic questions:

What’s wrong with our world? and

What can we do about it?

In the movie there are scenes showing of a flock of fish and then birds that shift  from one direction to another almost instantly. I always thought that shift in their direction was a result of one bird signaling all the others that he was going to turn. However, that turns out not to be true. Instead the turn occurs one bird at a time. This segment shows how individual animals make individual decisions in split seconds. The important focus here is on the individual, but, even more so, on the connection of the individual to the others.

This movie shows how we are all connected and how we want to be connected almost always. So what significance does this have with marketing? It’s

all about thinking about each person we market to rather than marketing to the masses. I know there have been other authors like Peppers and Rogers who emphasize the one-to-one marketing approach, but I am focused on the philosophy behind this approach. If you want to achieve market growth it is counterintuitive to go after one person at a time, but, in this paradoxical world, mass marketing is like the buffet dinner where it is “all you can eat for $19.95” and there is more food than you could eat in an entire year in front of you but you try anyway to eat as much as possible and end up eating non-stop because nothing tastes “good enough.” Everything is bland but you keep “hoping” that your next bite will be better. Your in the tasteless world of quantity over quality.

Shift instead now to a world where you focus on really connecting with one person at a time. You are setting yourself up for success if you pick the right people, one after the other. But choose wisely. When I look, for example on LinkedIn for connections, I am not looking for people who fit certain titles only, but people who have qualities–values that they exhibit in their profiles. I am look for:

  • people who are making a difference in the world
  • people who are other people focused
  • people who are accessible

I will share more attributes in the future as well as direct you to individuals who hold these values. Another tip? Look at targets through your 1st degree network to the 2nd and 3rd degrees  with whom you want to connect on LinkedIn. Look at who these people recommend. Find people who are recommended and choose one or both choices to: 1) connect with the recommender and/or 2) connect with the person the recommender is recommending. Final tip? Don’t just connect with these people without finding something in their profile you admire that you share with those you are contacting that you do admire. Everyone appreciates being appreciated. It’s a great “door opener.”

What do you think? What other tips do you have? I have mentioned before that 40% of my business has come from LinkedIn and I have also had 10% come from Twitter. Have you figured out how to make a first “winning impression one person at a time?”

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Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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