As part of my public relations work, I am often asked by clients for tips on how to approach a specific market, usually designated by a slightly simplistic demographic, full of promises and expectations. Of course, my usual answer is that the key is to first understand and respect a market before attempting to reach it but common sense firmly believes one can, through a few hollow PR tricks, magically extend the reach of brand.
For example, some insurance companies want to reach “The women” or “The gay community” or “Minority groups”, whatever that means, and attempt to do so by adding pink toe nails to their shots, draping a hunky model in a pride flag and adding a token person of color in a shot. To me, these practices are disrespectful and, more often than not, the targeted population reacts as it should: by ignoring the advertiser.
Looking around me however, it seems this rule applies to all industries but one: software. I have seen offers as nonsensical as mortgages for the gay community and car insurance for women, but I haven’t so far seen the same applied to spreadsheets or HTML editors. How come? Do software companies have more good sense? Is it because software is impersonal enough to not be adaptable to a demographic segment, even through a slew of artificial tricks? Or is it, a scary thought, because lifestyle software, unlike lifestyle hardware, hasn’t kicked in yet?
There have been a few half-baked attempts as of late to write software for teens but, if one excepts some crippled down “Kids browsers”, this is, to the best of my knowledge, about it. Software marketers out there, what are you waiting for?