Saturday, February 16, 2013

I'm Okay, You're Okay: On Target Markets

There is a thing I have noticed in pretty much every walk of life where money is exchanged, and that thing is this:

"Well if so and so wants MY money...." 

"If that plumber wants MY money he better be willing to work on weekends!" "If that designer wants MY money she better use yarn that I can afford!" "If that clothing company wants MY money they better use exclusively organic cotton!" "If that business wants MY money they better put their phone number in their ads!" "I would never give MY money to someone with a dressed-up cat in their commercial!"

Dunno who this guy is but I want us to be bffs. 

Many people seem to think of themselves as the ultimate consumer- as though *their money* is the grand prize that every business in the world should be bending over backwards to get. But here's the thing:

Not everyone wants your money. 

Sometimes they want somebody else's money- maybe someone who feels the polar opposite of the way you feel. And that's okay. Businesses have target markets, and a lot of the time? You are not in it. They don't want your money, because you will not be happy with their product, and unhappy customers are neither fun nor profitable. For example, I will probably never do significant business with a company that doesn't have a website or communicate by email. I don't like using the phone, and I am not about to start unless it's absolutely necessary. Ariel at the Offbeat Empire sites has posted about how she gently discourages advertisers who will only work by phone, because she knows that HER target market (which I fall into pretty solidly, except that I've never seen Dr Who) is websavvy and largely phonephobic.

But that's okay! Because there are people out there who hate the internet (gasp!) and will only do business over the phone and that's who the phone-businessers should be focusing on. There's no point in my bitching about someone who relies on the phone when I could just find someone who's happy to email me and let phony-mc-phone-pants deal with someone they're right for instead. To do otherwise is like complaining to some random guy "Hey, you are not my dream man, WTF? This is your fault, and a serious failing on your part. I am telling everyone I know that you suck."

This guy can be in our club too.

Recently I saw some folks talking about how they don't like "styled" photos on knitwear patterns- they prefer to see the item in question on a plain background with a plain outfit so they can see the barebones details with minimal distraction. That's fine, but... that'll never be me. I love the styling part (even if I'm occasionally a little lazy about it.) I like finding interesting backdrops. I try to take lots of pictures that will give people all the information they need, but they're never going to be done in a clinical, methodical way. So what? That just means that those folks are not my target market. If I were to worry about losing those customers and change my ways to please them, I'd displease people who like styled pictures. So never the twain shall meet. But (I'll say it again) that's absolutely okay! It ain't nothin' personal and there are designers out there who work differently and who'll love to have their business. (It may shock you to learn that I'm also not too big among devoted lace knitters and people who hate hats. Whodathunk?)

Is this distracting enough or should I put some more shit in the background?

Basically... no business can please everyone. No anything can please everyone. Just remember, when you see something you think is ridiculous, or stupid, or overpriced, or ugly, or otherwise somehow displeasing to you... chances are good that it's simply not "for" you. And. That's. Okay. 'Cause it's probably for someone.*

(Twisp and Catsby are definitely "for" me, btw. Also I realize this comic seems to be making the opposite point, but it's funny anyway.)

*I think the now-retired site Regretsy did a pretty good job of demonstrating this- no matter what weird, bizarro stuff they posted, someone out there thought it was amazing and bought it up immediately. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"The Room" Valentines

Okay first of all, it's not funny if I have to explain it, so if you haven't seen "The Room" you can remedy that here. Go on, trust me, it's worth it. These'll still be here when you get back.

If you are already familiar with Tommy Wiseau's masterpiece, you can express your love the Room way this Valentine's day with the following grainy jpegs:

You're welcome. 


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