It is Monday morning. I enter my office, and the most urgent task suddenly is no longer preparing for Wednesday’s Board meeting but cleaning up bug carcasses. If you guessed Asian lady beetles and stink bugs, you guessed right. If my job is to provide habitat for wildlife, I’m doing a great job based on the inventory of carcasses that reside in my office Monday mornings.
Once that task is complete, I begin checking e-mails. Marketing guru Seth Godin’s epistle today resonates with me. He throws out the window the old wisdom of defining customers or audiences by the conventional demographics of age, sex, race, income, religion, and education and suggests we describe our customers by their interests, fears, beliefs, preferences . . . an approach that is actually democratic and useful as it avoids putting people in boxes with wrong assumptions about who they are.
Which brings me back to my collection of bugs. Who am I to say that creatures who love to crawl on door frames, explore desktops, soak in rays of sun on windows and window ledges, are indifferent to the presence of humans, and require no feeding should not be respected as desirable wildlife. Obviously, they are my customers.
by Ellie Altman