One of the foundations of mass marketing was to be able to segment your market, geographically, demographically, behaviorally, brand preferences, and so on.

In the old days of mass media, it was really the only way to target messages at those most likely to be receptive, match the media selection to the characteristics of your target market.

But what has happened in the social world of networked consumers and crowd sourced comment and content?

An acquaintance runs a wonderful patisserie in a rejuvenated inner city location. It is pricey, but the value is there, reflected in the range, artistic presentation, great service, and above all, pastries to die for.  However, some of the comments on the review sites would lead to a conclusion that the products were overpriced, too fancy, and lacked character.

Standing in the queue on a Saturday morning just before Christmas, observing others, and listening to the comments, the penny dropped. Those in the queue were older, clearly successful, were regulars, and loved the place, whereas the casual buyer, the ones far more likely to leave a comment on a review site were most probably Uni students, on their way between the train station and the campus just down the road. These buyers were more liklely to want a cheap, filling,  snack rather than a tasty work of art.

The lesson: Do not believe all your read on social media review sites, any more than you believe all you read in a politicians press release.