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Jimi Hendrix – The death of mass marketing and how to grow a business by serving tiny groups

December 3, 2012

Take a good look at this picture of Jimi Hendrix, see anything weird?  If you’re a Jimi fan you likely already know, or if you’re just a keenly astute individual perhaps you picked up that he’s playing the guitar upside down.Jimi Hendrix

Hendrix didn’t play upside down not by choice per say, rather he played upside down because he preferred playing left handed (he was actually ambidextrous) and back then guitar makers did not produce guitars for left handed people.

Why Jimi Hendrix played upside down

Because in the past marketers made money by not serving small groups of users, but rather by mass producing (the user conforms to the marketer).  In fact during the industrial age that was the fastest track to growth and success.  Produce only right handed guitars and force everyone to use them.  Imagine that, the worlds most influential guitar player could not get a custom guitar made. Henry Ford famously said he would produce a Model T in any color as long as it was black.

Mass marketing is dead

Fast forward to today and mass marketing is dead.  In fact mass anything does not work any more (mass politics, mass education, nor mass production).  If you’re starting a business today instead of don’t think about about serving masses instead think about serving unique groups.  Today’s marketing and the companies on the fast track serve small groups of users (the market conforms to the user).  Apple once only served a small group of geeks, and schools. You can read about the death of mass here.

4 ways to grow your business serving tiny groups

  1. Build your business around a tiny group by finding a large market and carving it up into unique user groups (the smaller the better)(example: hispanics who need left shoulder surgery)
  2. Offer insanely great products and services to this very small market
  3. Develop a following using a website or blog
  4. Produce information books, white papers, etc for readers of your blog (different from trying to find readers for you book)
  5. Make it easy for your tiny group to tell their friends (sneeze) using social media and incentives for referring business

If you can think of other ways to serve small groups let me know in the comment section.

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