: Fred Wilson writes about audience segmentation — a marketing need that is a technology business — inspired by Seth Godin’s discovery that you can look at Amazon and find out what kinds of things people who eat at Applebee‘s buy.
I dug deeper into that page and found, to my surprise, that the magazines Applebee’s eaters buy are not what I’d expect — Redbook, Parenting, The Star — but instead Playboy, Maxim, Sports Illustrated, and FHM. I thought it was a family restaurant. This says it is a sports, guys’ bar. I wonder where Applebee’s advertises. (The obvious caveat is that the Amazon data could be based on a tiny sample.) For your amusement, also note that people who eat at Spark’s — scene of a notorious Mob murder — have bought the book, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.
This sort of targeting — finding out where to reach your market and what they care about and how to speak to them and, ideally, how to listen to them and even enter a conversation with them — is what will make weblogs and citizens’ media a commercial success… eventually. For here, you don’t just find out what words people searched for (the shallowest possible way to try to know a person) or what they bought (but just because I bought my kid a Barbie doesn’t mean I care about Barbies!), you find out what people think — not what some editor thinks but what the readers, the users, the market, the citizens, the people think.