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Citizens

What do you call the people that marketers interact with? The ones who aren't customers yet...

I was talking with Dan Pink on a conference call earlier and we realized that "prospect" or "target market" are very marketing-centric terms. The person is defined by the marketer, not the other way around.

Isn't it interesting that there isn't even a name for someone who doesn't yet have a relationship with the marketer?

We settled on citizen. (Jackie and Ben used a variant on this in their latest book.)

Citizen recognized the power of this individual. Citizens are no longer the weak, isolated pre-consumers in front of a TV set in 1971, with few options. Now, citizens appear to be holding all the cards. It sounds a bit pretentious, but then, so do most terms marketers use.

When you stop calling people 'targets' or 'prospects' and start calling them 'guests' or 'citizens', you can't help but become a little more humble and a little more respectful. Try it, it works.

The mp3 of the conversation is here.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Citizens:

» The opposite of citizen is . .. from The Learning Curve
In Seths blog post Citizens, he ponders a name for those individuals with whom a marketer has not yet established a relationship.  Seth writes: Citizen recognized the power of this individual. Citizens are no longer the weak, isolated pr... [Read More]

» B2B Citizens from Scalable
Once again the great Seth Godin and friends are changing the language of marketers. I love when this happens so I hope it takes hold. He's recommending that we stop referring to potential buyers as prospects and targets; rather we [Read More]

» Citizens in marketing from Property Management
[Read More]

« Stressed | Main | No user servicable parts inside »