Target audiences. Key demographics. Influencers. Fans. Detractors. B2B. B2C. Prospects. Flying Purple People Eaters. Whatever.
We've gotten far, far too mired in our textbooks and comfortable with the idea that if we generalize someone into a bucket, we don't have to think too hard about how to deal with them. We genericize what we say and how we say it. We want a blanket answer for communicating effectively, one that skims the commonalities and ignores the subtleties.
But wait a cotton-pickin' minute. Do you put yourself in a bucket? When you're interacting with a company, do you give yourself nametags that say "I'm a key influencer" or a "target market", or are you just a guy that wants to buy a new lawnmower or a new server farm for your company?
Don't talk to me about scale. Don't try and tell me you can't communicate to crowds of people and not make each one of them feel as though you're talking to them (as well you should be trying to). It's not about quantity anymore, or using labels as excuses for communicating lazily. It's about thinking just a bit less about what bucket someone lands in, and a little more about the quality of what we're saying to them - as sentient beings - in the first place.
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