Technology has revolutionized many aspects of the modern corporation, and as of late, perhaps none as dramatically as marketing. From providing reams of data on customers, response rates and infinitely detailed market segmentation, to engendering an ability to contact millions of people in seconds, IT has forever changed the way companies engage their customers.
While the vast majority of technical innovations in the marketing arena have been positive, the ease at which we can now reach millions of customers has an insidious side: the effortlessness at which a company can become exposed to the tyranny of the minority. As rapid feedback cycles allow companies to react to customer whims in moments, causing speed at reacting to feedback to take a back seat to determining which customers to actually react to. It is all too easy to allow a few loud voices to shift an otherwise successful marketing endeavor, or irrevocably change the course of a company for the worst.
Similarly, market segments that were difficult to reach can now be assaulted on multiple digital fronts. However, the ease of access to a formerly untapped market does not necessarily make that market viable. Shifting your focus away from core customers to attract an additional 1% market share makes no sense if that change in focus causes a dramatic loss from your core contingent. Grandma may now be on the web, but that doesn’t mean you should be wasting your efforts trying to sell her the latest sports car.
Like all things high tech, it is easy to employ a tool for no other reason than that it is available. Whether you are targeting your average citizen or a massive multinational conglomerate, investigate your marketing decisions on their own merits, without consideration for the tool or technology that makes the effort possible. Just because you can wage a massive campaign on a formerly ignored target group does not mean that is where you should be focusing your efforts.