Marketing To The Lowest Common Denominator and Other Ridiculous Fallacies
When I started as a marketer, I watched trainers talk about marketing to the lowest common denominator.
That way, you don’t lose the opportunity to make more sales, because most people live at around the low denominator.
Yet although their argument seemed to make sense, I didn’t feel right. So I started to look deeper into what happens when you employ this type of marketing.
First let me qualify what I mean by ‘the lowest common denominator’.
This means marketing to a person who is at the proverbial ‘bottom of the barrel’. The person who may resemble someone like a Homer Simpson type or big Aunt Bertha who is built like a jumbo toaster oven, type of person sitting on the couch with their biggest pressing question at the moment being “should I get up to walk to the other side of the couch to grab the remote to the TV… OR should I crawl across that couch.. that way I won’t have to get up completely”.
Well, we all pretty much know how that turns out… Its whatever requires less effort and energy. Sadly, at least in western culture… this is a large segment of the population. So naturally, when marketers are scheming up their latest campaign, they are looking at the ‘numbers’… and they see these Homer Simpson types as the largest group ripe for the picking.
This line of thinking right here is the beginning of the end. Stay with me, this will make sense soon.
Marketers see that they can easily manipulate this person by telling them that its “easy”… that the ‘system’ does it all for them… they just have to press a few buttons on a keyboard… maybe only one and they will start to see results with their ‘secret’ method.
I would find this type of marketing absolutely hilarious if it didn’t wreck our industry as a result. First of all, in order to even market to someone like this, the chances of them doing anything at all is slim to none, they don’t have the entrepreneurial drive. They don’t have the self-inspired motivation to go after a new business venture, they don’t have a big enough “why” that if they dug deep… it would make them cry.
Yet, the justification you see from marketers is “it makes sales”.
This short sighted approach completely short circuits a business that I would hope you want to have last… that has sustainability. When you market to the lowest common denominator because it’s “easy”. You have taken the low road and you will attract nothing but inexperienced, naive non-entrepreneurial people who will quit at the first sign of adversity.
Sure this type of marketing works for diet pills. Talk about an unsustainable business model… people who want a shortcut to losing the weight they gained because they weren’t motivated enough to regulate it with healthy eating habits, exercise and a sensible lifestyle. But if you are building a business or a team that involves people, or a tribe of people that are into what you are passionate about as well, then targeting these people is recipe for short term gains, burning through customers, high refunds, and you constantly having to push your next ‘marketing gimmick’. Or you find yourself having to move on to the next sucker who you can dupe into buying your crap.
The sadder part of this is that you may actually be promoting a quality product or service that is solid, works and helps people.
Yet, if you misrepresent it and give the wrong expectation about it, here is what you won’t have:
You will not ever build a business this way that sustains, that has people happy with your product or service and more importantly happy with you and choose to stick around, be a part of your tribe and continue to buy your stuff and benefit from it for the long term.
Giving the right expectation about what you are offering is paramount. If you make it seem too easy, and then the person attempts to apply your ‘system’ or method or whatever you have and it doesn’t turn out… then they feel burned.
However here is the amazing part that I found.
I have told people “Look, this is going to require some personal application and sweat. You will get frustrated, you will think about quitting, you will feel at times like its going nowhere… this is the path of an entrepreneur, but it’s worth it if you stick with it as those who do… make it”
Funny I have so many people who follow me and choose to stick around because I’m totally real with them.
I wish many other marketers did the same, the online marketing industry would be a 10X more quality place to play.
Thats all for now, just a quick thought for you today.
CEO & Co-Founder
North Node Solutions