Audience Of One

Why Paris Hilton is the OG precision marketer.

Audience Of One

If you can be tricked into being dissatisfied, you can trick yourself into delight.

The advertising game's changed a lot since I started.

In the old days, it was enough to have a killer idea executed brilliantly as a film or something. (I miss the old days).

But technology, social media, and the uneasy criss-cross of ad people and tech people has created unholy tangles of creepy precision.

What impact is this having on us?

A friend recently rekindled a love of Air Jordans, but started second-guessing if this was an authentic desire, or one just cultivated by enough subtle marketing that it felt real. (Or a healthy dose of Tinker in his prime).

Perhaps we'll all come to mistrust ourselves, feeling that we're not really living freely, but swayed by the Satanic whispers of algorithms.

We could withdraw: get a decent ad blocker and take a 'sunscreen vs UV' approach to information.

But there's an alternative. Because if you can't beat them, you can always join them.


Steve Jobs was famous for his 'reality distortion field'; a seeming refusal to accept undesired truths.

He'd mastered framing. It didn't matter if no one else believed him; the strength of his will bent others to his way of seeing.

We all do it, usually without knowing.

The bottle of wine brought back from travels never tastes as good back home. Of course not; it's not the wine that's different, but us.

Rolf Potts tells us how the mindset of holiday - a world where everything is bright, exciting and rosy - can be experienced anywhere, anytime; even a few streets from home.

Convincing yourself through small experiments, breaks in pattern, or a forced new perspective on the everyday, can crack the deadness of routine.

As Paris Hilton put it: 'Live every day like it's your birthday'.

Your subconscious often requires coaxing, like trying to persuade an automatic car into your gear of choice.

As marketers we know this implicitly; finding the lack we fill, or the state we enable.

But if you capture a holiday mindset, everything is rosy. Live in that state and - whether you're on holiday or not - life itself gets rosier.

We're manipulated daily by our inadequacies, but all have the power within us to convince ourselves we're awesome.

In a world of constant content, they say we're all brands now, but I disagree.

We're all precision marketers. Our first audience is us.