This post will tie together a bunch of my favorite topics:
- what I do for a living,
- bad reporters,
- upholding capitalism against ignorant droogs
- worse reporters, and
- bashing the Sorosmedia.
Let’s start at the top.
I design things for a living – usually software. Now, when you’re designing things that might have to be used by more than one type of person – software, stores, appliances, marketing websites, airliner safety equipment or what have you – you realize that it’s impossible to design something one way that works equally well for every possible consumer; if you try, you get a lowest-common-denominator that works well for nobody.
So, rather than try to design something that amalgamates an approach to every possible user, one technique is to develop a “User Persona” – a “biography” of the person (or small set of people) for whom the system has to work. For example, if you’re designing an airline cockpit, the design has to work perfectly for pilots; everyone else is secondary. Other designs are more complicated; a luxury sports car might be designed around a 45-year-old, upper-middle-class, upwardly-mobile, racially-indeterminate mortgage broker named “Pete” – all design nuances will answer the question “What would Pete want”. If it works perfectly for “Pete” – who is the “stereotype” of the person to whom the product is aimed, and who is most likely to buy the car – then it’ll be just fine for everyone else.
This technique is used in all sorts of processes – including designing retail marketing, store design, and even sales training systems. When you only have so much time and money to spend on designing something – a website, a store, a package, a cockpit – you have to focus your efforts on the right consumer.
It just makes sense.
After Dan Haugen’s little gaffe the other day in the MNMon – where he wrote “Minnesota’s gun laws could be worse – look at this bozo in Tennessee who’d make guns legal in bars”, not knowing that guns are legal in bars (under certain strict conditions) in Minnesota – I got to thinking – do MinMon reporters actually research what they write about?
We’ll come back to it.
Remember a few years ago, when the local dextrosphere got the vapors over Best Buy Corporation “profiling” customers That Best Buy would focus on customers with “money” and “the intention to buy”, as opposed to “bargain-hunters” who shopped only for “marked-down crap”, with an intention to “spend less time earning more money?”
The writer equated it with racial profiling – a nice, facile point that was, also, completely wrong.
Which brings us to Molly Priesmeyer, the Lindsay Lohan of the local Sorosphere. She’s on the story – a few years late:
Do blue hairs like Blu-Ray? Who cares? They’re cheap. Let’s focus on “Ray,” the bulls-eye Best Buy customer and “techno-tainment” enthusiast with a kid’s heart and wads of cash to spare. Niche marketing doesn’t get any uglier than the customer profiles created by the folks at hometown corporate behemoth Best Buy. And the good folks over at The Consumerist have a leaked internal PowerPoint presentation that renders every customer who walks into a Best Buy big-box shop an ambulatory stereotype.
Lindsay Molly: if this is the first you’ve heard of this particular trend of marketing, it means you’ve never bought a used car.
Remember a few years ago when Best Buy’s lenses turned every customer into an angel or devil? Devils care about saving money—avoid those lame Beezlebubs. These new drooling drones, if they’re even worth an employee’s time, just need a good shaking (and some action movies) so that every last penny drops from their pockets.
Priesmeyer’s writing seems to be unable to proceed beyond facile stereotypes. I mean, does what does she think every single sales-oriented business, or even salesman, does every time they look at a potential customer?
And, while we’re at it, does Ms. Priesmeyer have even a shred of evidence that there’s anything unethical or, dare we say, racist or sexist or anythingotherist about this?
(And – since a little bird once told us that Priesmeyer’s infamous hatchet job on the Center of the American Experiment dinner honoring Powerline was a result of Steve “Mister Furious” Perry telling her to take out all the “fair” stuff and be more anti-Republican and less objective, I have to ask: is Priesmeyer that hard-up for a job?)
So why does the MNMon have people who know nothing about the law writing about law, and nothing about business writing about business?
Oh, yeah – people who know nothing about journalism…
I mean, Mol-Mol? Even Jeff Fecke has learned to get his basic facts straight.