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You’re Not Bacon

By June 26, 2019July 22nd, 2021Digital, Strategy

Everyone Won’t Love You (and That’s a Good Thing).

The most popular TedTalk of all time has earned about 57 million views worldwide. That’s a big bunch of people. But it’s still only 1.3% of global Internet users and less than 5.5% of those online in the US & Europe.

We’re talking about the most successful entry into one of the largest online business communities ever – and 95% of us don’t even know it exists. In fact, most of us have never heard of the guy giving this TedTalk. It’s not Steve Jobs on Innovation or Bono on Poverty. It’s Sir Ken Robinson asking the question “Do Schools Kill Creativity?”

There are several lessons we, as marketers, might learn from this phenomenon, but the first of them is this: Think small. Robinson didn’t set out to create the most popular TedTalk ever. The possibility of “going viral” or “reaching everybody” never crossed his mind. That wasn’t his intention. His only hope was to influence and motivate a very select, specific audience: Educators. And he tailored every word of his talk to ensure he was speaking their language.

Robinson also knew that the changes he was trying to exact wouldn’t happen overnight. He acknowledged and accepted one of the most critical components of any campaign: Think long-term. His TedTalk was delivered in 2006 and more than a dozen years later, it’s been shared with more people than any other. That’s a message with staying power, because it’s a message that continues to resonate with new members of a prolific, passionate tribe; a tribe built on the premise of life-long learning.

But those first two lessons lead us to the most important marketing principle of all: Think relevant. As engaging and entertaining as it may be, amusing his audience wasn’t one of his objectives. His only “KPIs” were to inform his listeners, persuade them to consider a different option, and move them to take action.


Remember that funny video that everyone was passing around in their social networks six months ago? Me either.

Because it had nothing meaningful to say and, therefore, bore no relevance to our lives.

Of course, as marketers, we already know this. We pay lip service to the value of hyper-targeting, the need for consistent programming and the importance of relevant consumer content for our specific audience. But then we turn right around and ask our creative teams to produce something that will “go viral” and appeal to “everybody.”

Grumpy cat holding sign with text: "Meme out of Work... anything helps

But you’re not bacon. Everybody won’t love you. And, as we know (deep down), that’s a good thing. Success isn’t based on quick, immediate, guilty gratification. It’s the result of a healthy helping of well-defined strategy, discipline and persistence.

The good news is that today’s programmatic platforms – like Modern Impact’s Intelligent Pixel® – leverage proprietary technology, real-time analysis and cognitive algorithms to interpret consumer attitudes, predict market behavior and build highly relevant content that accelerates sales growth.

But better yet, the opposite is also true. These systems not only help you craft messages that resonate with the largest possible audience but, more importantly, reach those highly relevant consumers who are most likely to appreciate authentic brand messaging; messages that best represent who you truly are.

Security camera picking up 7 "relevant consumers" on busy street

In the end, you don’t need to reach everyone.

You just have to reach everyone who cares about the same thing you do; whether that’s Education or Electronics or Eggs. The more specific the audience, the greater the response.

As Sir Ken Robinson so clearly demonstrates, it’s much better to win over 50% of all the people who are passionate about your category (your relevant consumers) than 0.5% of everybody else. And if, after achieving that kind of radical success, it still hurts your feelings to be largely unknown – you can cry all the way to the bank.

Robert Paul

Author Robert Paul

As a seasoned veteran with three first names, RAP (as we call him) brings 30+ years of brand strategy expertise to the clients of Modern Impact. Having lived on all three sides of the agency-media-client equation, he provides a unique, universal perspective on the branding process. His talent for building strong brands spans Real Estate, Insurance, Health and Fitness, CPG, Automotive, Travel and several other categories. That radio voice and razor-sharp tongue mean there’s never a dull moment with RAP in the room. Then you realize you’re walking out smarter (or at least more sarcastic) than when you walked in. Read RAP’s blog posts and you’ll see what we mean.

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