Friday, March 23, 2007

Micro Hysteria

Marketing guru and unknowing theatrical genius Seth Godin coined a new term last month -- "micro hysteria."
Far better to obsess about owning the micro audience, at least for a moment, than to waste your energy trying to be everything to everyone.
It's a sentiment that is at least as old as Aesop: "If you try to please everyone, you'll wind up pleasing no one." Seth is taking a moldy old law "everyone" knows and turning it into an active rule of thumb with micro hysteria: "Go after the niche."
To find packets of the population that interact with each other and create [micro hysteria].
In the theatre, the problem of promotion is how to fill seats. The most common form of promotion out here in Los Angeles is the color postcard, stacks of which litter cafe counters and theatre lobbies and laundromats all over town. This is stupid promotion, equivalent to a street preacher yelling at passersby from a megaphone. There's no connection, no conversation.

Well, no surprise. There's no audience, just random strangers.

In a town as fractured and spread out as Los Angeles is (and here I mean the whole of Los Angeles County taken as one megalopolis) random shouting is lost among the din of all the other random shouting going on. The theatres that thrive seem to have a strong subscriber base, or at least dedicated regulars. The community is there, it just needs to be nurtured.

Food for thought.


Pamela Moore said...

It's totally true. It becomes overwhelming, sifting through the postcards for all these shows and trying to decide what's worth seeing. That's part of the reason I prefer mailings to stacks of postcards all over town. It's a little more personal.

Nero said...

Just a note. There was a theatre company here that left the post card in the past. they started using business size cards with sometimes with a discount attached. The idea that you could give them to specific people and also they were easy top put in a pocket or wallet and therefore would not be easily dismissed to the trash. I still find it has many more possibilities. Especially if you want to target a certain audience.