If you’re interested in online marketing for your business, there’s something important you should know about the people you are looking to become your subscribers or customers.
It’s a process that every single user online is doing, and they’re doing it every day, every time they decide to open up their computer. I call this process the “User Bubble”, and I’m going to explain what it is and why you need to know about it.
First, a few things you need to get before you see what I’m talking about clearly…
Blind Spots As An Internet Marketer
We all have a psychological “blind spot” when we cross over from being USERS of a product or service to being the CREATOR of our own product or service.
Here’s what I mean…
As a USER we’re in a hurry.
We don’t want to have to read all the text on a page. We want to get what we want in 2 seconds or less, and we don’t want to have to give anything up for it.
As a CREATOR… we assume that users should pay attention to us and care.
We want our users to read all the text on our page. We expect to get the users attention and for them to stay engaged and do what we assume they will want to do for minutes on end.
You see the clear disconnect, yet most of us can’t help but fall into this blind spot when we move into being a CREATOR.
Great marketers are often people who think past or overcome this blind spot, and build and design with THE GAP between USER and CREATOR in mind.
Ok. Now that you know a tiny bit about the User/Creator Gap, there’s something 99% of of web/email/mobile users do that we practically all forget about when we go to create and market something of OUR OWN.
The User Bubble
Humans are creatures of habit.
Being creatures of habit, we tend to like or trust things we already know about and have seen before MORE than we like things we haven’t seen or heard about.
We also generally follow the same routes and paths to getting things done on a daily basis.
- you take the same route to work
- you filter and respond to email messages at a given address
- you use the same search engine or search bar on your browser
- you talk to the same friends
- you eat the same things
- you watch the same tv shows
- you visit the same websites
- you log in to the same social networks
- you read the same blogs or social feeds
The list goes on.
The process users do day-in and day-out of finding and filtering information from the same people, the same places and doing it in the same ways online is what I call the User Bubble.
Here’s a visual aide from the BBC on users daily routines in media that’s both funny and revealing…
Now, you might ask why do people do this? Why do we live in “bubbles?” One reason is that we create habits to make our lives more manageable- to find a rhythm in the chaos that is the overload of Information, knowledge, work and entertainment today.
The point is, we largely do the same things in our lives over and over again, including what we do and where we go and visit online and on the web.
This becomes really important to know when you think about how to get your product or service in front of a real life human being you’d like to become your user or customer. It becomes critical to consider if your business and marketing plan calls for you capturing thousands or millions of users.
The reality is that if you want to get in front of users today, you have to get into what I call their “User Bubble.” You have to find a way to get into their bubble or communication “loop.”
This means that you not only have to be using the channels/mediums they’re repetitively using… but you might have to get a real individual talking about you or mentioning you to their network for many users locked in tiny Bubbles of their own to ever hear about you and come across you in their daily Bubble.
Getting Into Your Users Bubble
Knowing about “User Bubbles,” where do you need to be at to get into your users bubble and daily info “loop”?
I’ve acquired several million subscribers in businesses over the last 7 years.
In the Web 1.0 era there weren’t that many options. Banner ads, forums and email. Search used to be much less crowded. Now there are tons of options, and you need to pick and choose. Most importantly, you need to FOCUS.
Not only does your user and where they are online determine where you need to be to get into their Bubble, but your product or service often determines this as well.
Email has been a great way for marketers and brands to try and get themselves into users Bubbles, and stay there. That’s part of the beauty of email. If you have a users “good” email address, you can bet they’ll at least come across your message when you want to push it to them. But email isn’t as effective as it used to be for many businesses, and users are trying to spend less time be “marketed to” via email. (opening and clicking less non-personal emails)
The social web has expanded many users Bubbles. Now many users have 1-2 email addresses, 1 or 2 social “identities” where they share and glance at feeds, and likely several sources of info/news – blogs, newsletter subscriptions, or Twitter for real time news.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your users will abandon their habits and break out of their Bubble for you. Instead, make sure you’re finding great relevant ways to have them invite you in.
So think about it…
Knowing about how users live in Bubbles, what’s the best way to get into their loop, and stay there with recurring messages, recurring value and give them reasons to continue to interact with you?
Tip of the hat here… I’ve been thinking about writing about the User Bubble phenomena for a few weeks now, and finally got around to it after being inspired by a panel put on by two smart cool folks Tony Adam and Jackie Peters on knowing and finding your Customer at The Perfect Pitch conference.