Reference? How Much?

Seth Godin touches on an interesting issue today:

What can you assume about your audience?

If you’re running a commercial, sending out a sales letter, making a presentation–what have they seen? What do they know?

Your audience isn’t as homogeneous as it used to be. That means you have a few choices:

1. Inquire. For a small group, or for important interactions, ask.
Ask if they’ve been to your site or read your recent blog posts. Ask if
they use this software or that software. Ask if they’ve seen Buckaroo
Bonzai or not. Ask if this is the first time in your restaurant (or
better yet, let your database tell you).

2. Assume. If you don’t ask, you’re going to have to guess. You can
make it clear you’re assuming, which puts the burden on the unclued to
keep up, or you can take a huge risk and just assume. This strategy
works best for large groups, where hitting a home run with half the
audience is probably worth the journey.

3. Punt. Don’t ask, don’t make thoughtful assumptions, just pretend
we’re living in a three-channel, all-on-the-same-page universe. I think
this is the default setting for most marketers, and quite a mistake.

It's a point I dwell on for a bit every time I blog.  If I am making a reference, how much background context should I provide.  If I mention Facebook or Yahoo, do I link to it?  I try to go the second round and assume.  But usually, I probably end up punting, since the assumptions are usually not that straightforward.  Asking is very difficult in the blogging environment.

Wow, heavy Seth influence on SortiPreneur today. :)   

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