John Doe, the ubiquitous everyman for well over 60 years, has passed away. Loved by millions and highly sought after by outbound marketers like radio, television and newspapers,Doe’s demise has left the marketing world in chaos.”When I was a child, people used to talk about John Doe,” said Peter Francese, advertising consultant for New York-based Oglivy & Mather advertising firm. ”
He was the Average American in a relatively even society where vast numbers of people had the same sort of needs for consumer products and services,” Francese said. But apparently those days are long gone. What was the cause of Mr. Doe’s death? Fragmentation appears to be the answer.
Today’s market is a multi-cultural, multi-segmented AND multi-generational. Twenty years ago, the most coveted demographic was 18-49. Not so any longer. Now there are markets for nearly every age, especially 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. And these later generations have a bigger impact on what their children and grandchildren are doing and buying.
It’s a big reason why cable, radio and newspapers are scrambling. With such a fragmented audience, it’s hard to predit what cable channel your target market is watching. But directly reaching your desired audience through print and email with a highly targeted message, dramatically pushes the cost per sale down and profits up.
Doe’s demise levels the playing field for small business, allowing the market’s fragmentation to work for them, appealing directly to the people who want their services the most, and cutting out the waste. There really are riches in niches. Services for Doe got lost in the shuffle as businesses everywhere embraced the extraordinary opportunity to speak directly to their targeted audiences through print and email newsletters and postcards.
But hey, we respect all that you did for us, John. It’s just that we like the new way better: Spend less on advertising and get more bang for our buck.