Average Jo doesn’t exist… it’s time for mass personalisation
Who is Average Jo?
“The only normal people you know, you don’t know very well”.
Perhaps ‘normal’ never existed, and we accept that we’re all different in our own unique and important ways.
This matters because many businesses talk of ‘Average Jo’ - the average customer. It comes from looking at a large group of people, and seeing a bell curve of characteristics. We can identify extremes, and someone - our friend Jo - in the middle.
And it’s around Jo that we design products and services, hunting for Product Market Fit across large addressable markets.
This business view of customers is average
Designing for the ‘average’ person makes sense in an industrialised world. When costs for businesses force them to offer ‘one size fits most’.
We batch-cook our customers around standard services, standard processes and standard experiences. And it makes sense. It’s the most effective approach when dealing with many thousands of customers.
ChatGPT will inevitably help businesses personalise things somewhat. But the insights uncovered will be done TO customers, not WITH them. Businesses will be inferring the average Jo, not understanding things from her perspective.
Getting beyond normal
Customers today don’t have simple, easy to use and scalable ways to describe what they want and need. It’s all manual and cumbersome. Spread out across a confusopoly of apps and websites. (Just think about the last time you booked a holiday).
But a new market for digital customer tools will help individuals express their needs.
And businesses will be able to respond in tailored and custom ways... because they too will have next generation CRM tools, and finally enable a real conversation with customers.
Once we give people a digital voice that belongs to them, we’ll be able to talk to them as individuals.
And of course see that average Jo doesn’t exist.
Or if she does, she is certainly not normal.
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