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.