Targeting the marginal consumer, not the average consumer

It's hard to find a knowledgeable baseball fan who likes Tim McCarver, Fox's color commentator, who says things that are often visibly wrong, and enjoys making grand pronouncements. Indeed the overwhelming majority of Twitter comments about McCarver are negative. Billy Packer, CBS's longtime basketball color commentator, draws similar complaints from hoops fans. One of my friends set his TV to a seven second delay and then listened to Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper, the beloved Giants local TV commentators who've been forced to the radio for the playoffs. It doesn't make sense for Fox to employ a broadcaster who's hated by everyone, which led me to realize that Fox only cares about the marginal viewer. I'm going to watch the game no matter how bad Tim McCarver is, so Fox doesn't really care what I think about him. However, the person who watches three or four baseball games a year on TV probably likes a guy who says "great play" when an outfielder runs the ball into the infield. Looking around, you start to see this pattern a lot. College websites are targeted entirely at two groups of people: prospective students and alumni/parents, who give money. This means that nearly all college homepages fail to provide useful information for enrolled students. Most website homepages are also targeted at the marginal customer; they force returning users to find a Login button in the corner.
Good products figure out ways to distinguish marginal users from diehard users, so they can give a good experience to both; a website might use cookies to keep returning users logged in, or a college might have a "Portal" it shows to returning students. Which is why I'm hoping Fox will soon stream a second audio channel, for people who are fairly knowledgeable about baseball.

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One thought on “Targeting the marginal consumer, not the average consumer

  1. Papa J

    It is impossible to match the TV with the radio broadcast. The radio is not on a delay but the Tv is. So if your friend put his Tv on a 7 sec delay, he would be 20 seconds behind. The only way to do this would be to speed up the Tv or tivo radio, both of which i dont think are possible. DJ and i tried. So your friend is a fibber.

    Reply

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