. The Transom .

Monday, October 08, 2007

Short Hairs of the World Unite!

I think marketing in the US has become too segmented. We now have an audience and a subsequent media outlet, for reaching anyone with any interest. Case in point, walking through the halls at work today I noticed a magazine on a colleague's desk. It's called "Short Hair." Yes, there is an actual magazine for people who have, like, want, know someone who has, or are generally interested in, short hair. To me, that is just incredible. I'm betting if you dig deep enough you could find the "Left-Handed Tooth-Brushers Digest." It's just too much.

Do we as a society want to be grouped and segmented so much that we associate ourselves with smaller and smaller groups of people? It's bad enough that we only consume the news we want to consume, with RSS and personalized home pages, but now we further distance ourselves from our neighbors. Can you just call yourself an American? How about a Floridian or a Republican? There isn't one title that suits you, I get that. But do we have to get to the level of hair? In the ridiculous world of segmentation and over-analyzing demographics, it would be nice if people paid attention to more than just their personal interests. Just think how much we could accomplish if the short-hairs and long-hairs came together for the greater good.

3 Comments:

  • I suggest checking out Mark J. Penn's article, The Critical 1% in Forbes. There is so much information in the info-sphere that individuals MUST find a way to segment themselves to survive the constant information overload. The magazine about short hair allows certain individuals to form a real community within this world that keeps on growing at the speed of light. Instead of seeing this segmentation as a negative, see it as an incredible opportunity to reach people where they are with what really matters to them. If you can connect with them, you can give them the information you'd like them to absorb, and if your information is persuasive enough, get them to take the action you'd like them to take.

    By Anonymous Susan, at Tuesday, October 09, 2007 7:08:00 AM  

  • Susan - I appreciate your position and I do see certain segmentation as a positive. As PR people, we can clearly benefit from the 'Short Hair' magazines of the world to reach the exact people we want. No doubt about that. I guess my rant was more about where we draw the line. I had a long conversation about this very topic last night. I'm not one to judge that Short Hair doesn't belong but politics does. Everyone will have their opinion on what is important to them. Where I see the potential danger is in people only paying attention to, and receiving, news or information within their general interests. There are only so many hours in the day. If I love golf, dogs, short hair, and color pencils, I might spend the bulk of or all my time reading information or news about those topics, and not have time for current and world events, or politics, or legal news. These are topics that are important to the general public for the good of the country, and they have the potential to be ignored because of the proliferation of alternatives en masse sucking our time. I think what we end up with is a public that can tell you all about the latest with Brad and Angelina, but can't tell you anything about Darfur.

    By Blogger Rob Amberg, at Wednesday, October 10, 2007 9:02:00 AM  

  • Rob,

    as a direct marketing professional i love segmentation , it make my life so much easier.

    I think you're not really having a rant about over segmentation but about a general "dumbing down" of mainstream media. I'm not sure if its right to point the finger at the media who deliver the diet of gossip and pics of Z list nobodies in the latest rib-defining designer wear. I wonder if the proportion of people interested in the Brad and Angelinas of the world v's current affairs (the political sort), science etc. has changed dramatically over the decades? I guess one could also argue that watching and reading about golf / football / fishing / rugby etc. is equally as pointless. Each to their own I guess.

    By Anonymous Dave Williams, at Thursday, October 18, 2007 1:39:00 AM  

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