HYPERFRAGMENTATION: THE AGE OF STRATIFIED TASTES

It is difficult to believe that in 2017 there are still massive brands that want to launch campaigns or strategies for “everyone”. I´m not denying that there are massive brands that have an impressive scope at  global and national levels; what I´m saying is that to asume that all those people have the same tastes is practically madness.

Sometimes marketing managers feel afraid when they hear “fragment” SEGMENT? Because they think of niche and they think it has  a limited scope, but there´s nothing farther from the truth. Let´s think a little. Before, our offer was limited and our tastes more hemogeneous. We only had a couple of options for watching television; Now we have a practically unlimited offer with 500 channels besides having a menu content. In other words,  over supply and marketing professionalization have generated over- demand and in the search for individuality in a globalized world and taste diversification, the different consumption  forms and needs of the people have become the standard.

To illustrate this phenomena lets take music as an example: Practically any festival that is launched is packed because we have access to many more sources for listening to music from  many diverse genres from around the world and  we are willing to pay that money to continue building our individuality. Furthermore the elite or niches as understood in the past practically don´t exist anymore. Instead, today we talk about mass elites: whatever an elite can be in a world of seven million inhabitants.

There are other disciplines that already have an advantage over marketing. For example, the medical field is  working day to day on “personlized genetics”: the treatment and administration of pharmaceuticals for the illness of a specific patient according to his/her individual chemistry and genetics. The fashion industry understands this very clearly: clothing brands increasingly put out smaller collections to cover ephimeral needs and there are futurists that even visualize that we will reach a point in which we will want something so specific that we will be able  to design and print  (not only clothes, but also shoes, toys, tools, prothesis, accesories,etc) in 3D. The beauty industry has increasingly more initiatives based on your skin tone, they design lip stick, fingernail polish and make up which is suitable “only for you”.  On the other hand, algorithms are improving and the identification of specific segments is even more professionalized; for example, Spotify gives you increasingly accurate suggestions based on what you have listened to, but in addition to this, its advertising is more focused on who you are;   I´M AFRAID THAT SUCH SPECIFIC SEGMENT IDENTIFICATION AS THE ONES I MENTION, CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED WITH BIG DATA ALGORITHMS. FOR ME THERE ARE TWO OPTIONS. OR YOU USE BIG DATA OR YOU SIMPLY LAUNCH A LOT OF MESSAGES TO DIFFERENT SEGMENTS ON DIFFERENT PLATFORMS, OLD SCHOOL STYLE, SUCH AS THE   AESTHETES  FROM COCA COLA LIGHT.

In this context, it is very difficult  to reach many (as many as posible) if as a brand we only do ONE thing, if we  cast only ONE message. In a world where people want to distinguish themselves more and more, in which individuality is becoming more relevant; allowing this tendency to fall on deaf ears is pretty naive and above all inefficient. But many would say that the costs of launching multiple messages or of hyper- targeting are extremely high. Mmmm, they´re not that  high. First of all the platforms from which we can cast multiple messages are greatly diversified. Nowadays you don´t only have a 60sec. television; digitalization has opened at least 10 different routes (and if you only have a 60 sec. television, you should reconsider your media plan).

As my high school teachers used to say: if there is one thing I want you to keep from this article, it is the hyperfragmentation paradox: When doing it you do not reach less people- as we have always believed when talking about niches- on the contrary, when becoming more specific, we launch more effective guided darts instead of cannons that don´t hit anyone in the end.  Data? HBR says that scaled personalization yields 8 to 10 times more ROI in marketeting costs and can increase sales by 10% (1).

Today it is easier than ever for our message to get lost in all the noise. When there´s so much noise we can only hear those that murmur in our ear. So let´s be those that murmur in our consumers´ears telling them specifically what they like to hear.

References:

  1. Matt Ariker, Jason Heller, Alejandro Diaz y Jesko Perrey (2015) How Marketers Can Personalize at Scale. Harvard Business Review. Disponible en: https://hbr.org/2015/11/how-marketers-can-personalize-at-scale