There’s quite a few bad words used in business and marketing. Words which quantify, extract and segment. They dehumanise business. I’d like to see them removed from our vernacular. Here’s two examples worth sharing.
Target & Consumer. I prefer Audience and People and here’s why:
A Target is something we aim for, shoot at, maybe even kill. An Audience is something we try to impress. An audience gives us a chance to prove our worth, they invest their time in us and we must respect it by trying to over deliver to their expectations. In the hope that, they throw flowers on the stage, cheer and ask for an encore. But we enter the stage knowing we may get rotten tomatoes thrown at us, if that’s what we deserve. The onus is on us.
A Consumer is someone who buys stuff. Their primary purpose is to devour whatever we provide. They are faceless, nameless and irrelevant. We want as many of them as possible to fulfill our financial needs. A Person however, is someone we know. A person has emotions, ambitions and meaning in their life. They have opinions which we must value, and a life which we need to enhance. A person is someone we hope to relate to on a human level. A consumer is machine like and undervalued.
The best startups and brands, know that they need to perform for their audience. They know that audiences are made up of people.