Christmas market(ing), targets and unique snowflakes. Let’s talk.

Posted by Alan Stobie
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Never underestimate the power of words.

Ever.

Written well, words can force you to completely change what you’re thinking. They can transport you to somewhere different.

You’re sprawled in an open field, a gingham blanket catching the butter drips from warm pancakes as you watch the sun dart and dance inside a crystal glass of lemonade.

Now you’re sitting on a dusty, dank and stuffy train, surrounded by people fighting off sleep in the heat.

You’re there.

The metallic wasp-like buzz of a dentist’s drill fires up before the smell of burning teeth fills your nostrils….

Ok. that was a little OTT. But you were there too weren’t you? And for that, I apologise.

Words are powerful.

Kylie Jenner tweeted a mere 18 words and wiped $1.3 BILLION off Snapchat's net worth.

Does anyone open Snapchat any more? The numbers, surprise, surprise, are steadily decreasing.

Words. Are. Powerful.

Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not the beautiful or unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world. We are all part of the same compost heap.

More words.

This time, from the film of Chuck Palahniuk’s 1996 cult book Fight Club.

You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake.

Snowflakes are becoming increasingly prevalent. They’re allegedly the more sensitive, millennial type, overly convinced of their own status as unique, delicate people, rendering them unable or unwilling to handle life’s travails.

But nobody would say that of millennials, would they?

They would definitely never say it of creative types. Absolute baubles.

But is it just crude, generalist name-calling? Or a testament to a generation brought up that there are no winners, losers and everyone is deserved and special.

Ever heard of Janteloven? Google it.

Fact is, in today’s marketing landscape, character profiling and neuropsychology play a large part in targeting. They always have, but more via presumption and generalisation as opposed to data-driven. But it plays a massive part in the briefing process. Knowing exactly the persona we need to talk to massively influences our language, our terms of reference, our familiarity of tone; our overt use of humour.

Thanks to technology, we know a ridiculous amount. We really do. And we can do amazing things with what we know.

(Incidentally, we know that the less intelligent reader stops reading at this point.)

Once upon a time, a brief would say ABC1, or C2, D,E. Nowadays, we’re even targeting one person. It’s specific. It’s a green female snowflake that works as an architect for Schnell and Flenkel. It’s you.

If we want to win the fight, snowball or otherwise, we need to know people. We know who they are. But we need to know why they are. What they want. Why they want it. The word insight doesn’t come close.

You might be beautiful and unique. But yes, you’re decaying organic matter. We all are.

Your uniqueness is what makes you easy to target. And we can target you. You’re on Linkedin and your social accounts are probably public. And boffins with glasses and unkempt beards have been watching your mouse as you’ve been scrolling down reading this. Its pattern is unique, but forms a profile and feeds data that allows us to change what we’re saying to make sure more and more people read it. It’s why websites are driven by growth.

Christmas is a time of giving. Give your data. You’ll be showered with gifts.

Look, it’s Christmas. A special time of year. So let’s remember that everyone is special. The time we spend with our families is special. And unique, although there are so many TV ads all clambering over each other to find a common ground. Your uniqueness is what makes you, you. As marketeers, we put all of this to good use. And get results. It can influence a brief and help plant a seed for the creatives. We’re in exciting times, media-wise. We shouldn’t be sensitive about it. Whatever our demographic, socio-economic group, race, gender, embrace it. We can be more relevant to one another. Not distant.

And can two snowflakes be the same? Of course they can. Ask Dr Kenneth G. Libbrecht. He knows.

Have a happy ‘period that identifies as yule’, everyone.

Peace out.

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