Readers Aren’t One-Size-Fits-All, So Why Is Our Content?
Our readers aren’t bathrobes—they’re not one-size-fits-all.
Yet we batch-and-blast email and direct mail campaigns. We write about what we think is best. We really only have one product, even if it’s available in different formats.
So why do we continue to treat our readers so uniformly?
It’s because this approach worked so well under the old advertising model. With a CPM or rate base model, all eyeballs are created equal. We could get away with casting a wide net to develop our audience in a cookie-cutter fashion.
But continuing to act this way is dangerous. Why?
First, advertisers are more savvy. Thanks to advances in technology, they want hard evidence that their ad spend led to an ROI. They don’t want to only know how many impressions they got. They want to know what kind of impressions they got. We’re competing against Facebook, who can tell advertisers precisely who sees their ads—where you can get in front of pretty much any segment you can dream up. You can literally target “people who always have to spell their names for other people” or “students against backpacks with wheels.”
Second, as we move toward reader revenue streams, we need to think more like product managers. What does that mean at its core?
It means we need to acknowledge that not all readers want or need the same thing. We need to put the reader in the center of all our decisions around content, features, and marketing. And we need to continuously refine our offers, content, and campaigns.
In this article we will explore that first element. We’ll recognize we’re not one-size-fits-all anymore and unleash the potential of segmentation. We’ll address:
- What exactly is segmentation?
- What types of segmentation exist?
- How can I segment my audience?
Rob Ristagno, Founder and CEO of the Sterling Woods Group, previously served as a senior executive at several digital media and e-commerce businesses, including as COO of America’s Test Kitchen. Ristagno is passionate about helping others grow near-term revenues by applying data science to uncover and test low-risk, high-reward sales and marketing strategies. Committed to spreading this message, Rob is the author of A Member is Worth a Thousand Visitors and the developer of the Growth Mindset Assessment.