In the early days of media, you had a daily newspaper, three network television stations, and some magazines.


I recently received this message from a close friend in Europe … a person who has followed me on social media for years:

“I had no idea you had a new book out!”

This message was a like an electric shock to my marketing pride.

For a period of months after Marketing Rebellion came out, social media posts about my book seemed ubiquitous — blogs, videos, podcast interviews, newsletters. How is it possible that this friend missed the news?

If this were an isolated event I could shrug it off but I get similar comments all the time. People I consider fans and friends seem unaware of my books or events. For some, it seems to be a surprise that I have a podcast, something I have been doing for more than six years!

It makes me wonder … is there any way to reliably reach your customers, even the ones who profess to love you?

The unreachable customer

The unreachable customer has become a “thing” in my lifetime. In the early days of media, you had a daily newspaper, three network television stations, and some magazines. If you repeated an advertising message through these channels you could reliably connect with an audience that had no other place to go for their news and information.

In that age, we didn’t have to battle for this captive attention, at least to the degree we do now. We battled our competition to provide the best offer.

An attention economy

Today the customer attention is fragmented into a million distractions. Assessing the customer journey is like looking at a row of stained glass windows. Sure, they are all windows, but each one is a unique composition filtering the light in a thousand different ways.

Marketing today is so difficult because there is no way to reliably make a connection through all those possible filters.

Some customer “windows” into my work come through my blog, which is typically emailed to subscribers through a distribution service. But even a benchmark “open rate” for an email is 30 percent. So 70 percent of my readers miss whatever I have to say on any given day. If I post those articles on social media the “connection rate” is a fraction of that.

Reach for my podcast …. who knows? The metrics aren’t great for podcasts. Podcasters today don’t even know for certain how many subscribers they have, let alone posses an ability to connect to specific customers.

Digital advertising? Almost invisible to most people.

Even on my best day I’m connecting to just a fraction of my customers through any means available to me.

A solution?

Here is a business idea for somebody.

The world needs a way for us to connect to our best customers in a perfect and absolute way. There needs to be some sort of service where if you are a loyal customer or a true fan, a crucial message gets to you no matter what (maybe a text alert?)

And on the other side, businesses need to be able to slice and dice this list to provide very targeted and relevant messages and news.

For example, last week I did a free event in San Antonio. I wanted to let all my followers in that Texas city that I was coming and that it was free. But I have no rapid, sure-fire way to reach everybody in San Antonio connected to me through some content or social media channel. Nobody does.

We need a service so that if people in a city want to know if I’m coming to their town, they will absolutely know.

I can imagine them checking boxes of their favorite speakers or authors. Simon Sinek. Malcolm Gladwell. Brene Brown. These are the people I would want to see if they come to my city for a speech or book signing. Sort of like a concert alert for authors, speakers, and social media friends.

Reaching the unreachable customer

We are never going to go back to a world where every person’s “window” is the same. But maybe there could be one little portal that is the same and reliable, at least for your most valued audience.

Perhaps somebody out there will say, “hey ya big dummy, there is already something like that out there!” A common refrain to be sure … but I don’t think so.

So get on it world. I have thousands of people out there missing the best things I have to offer, free meet-ups, and even my books.

How do we reach that unreachable customer?


Mark Schaefer