How Many Channels Are YOU Using?
If you're a Baby Boomer like me, you probably fondly recall the HUGE selection of TV channels we had on our TV dials growing up. (Selection of the word "HUGE" was sarcasm, of course. We had a total of seven channels, and maybe eight if it wasn't raining and the rabbit ears were tilted just the right way.) Basically, we were CAPTIVES of one of those seven stations if we were watching TV back in the day.
This past weekend, when renewing my cable service options, I asked my kids and husband which channels they really watched. The list was MASSIVE. Everyone had his or her own unique selections, many very surprising to me. A few major network shows, but also shows about dirty jobs, gypsy sisters, ice road truckers, international soccer matches, dance moms, duck call inventors, no-nonsense court judges, farm vets, zombies, wedding gowns, diner food, pranksters, shark tanks and guessing game shows featuring leggy models holding money-filled briefcases. Bottom line: To satisfy the family nowadays, we needed to have a myriad of those channels—something to reach every possible taste, type of viewer and demographic.
And that led me to think of all the ways we can market ourselves today. Back then, you had traditional media, promotional products, direct mail, personal sales calls and a few others. You usually took ONE message and blasted it out to the masses or to select prospects. But YOU were telling the story. Promoting. Pushing YOUR message.
Not so today. Consumers have evolved, gotten younger, savvier. They have grown up with choices we never had—finite preferences and a new world of advertising where THEY call the shots. They want you to know them, understand their needs and wants and pain and preferences, and go where they are. Reach THEM through the channels they inhabit. And not only THAT, they don't want to be SOLD; they want to be ENGAGED, to interact, to choose YOU to connect to them. They don't want a "pitch;" they will make their choices based on what their connections are and what their peers say.