Let’s thank Jerry Seinfeld for that phrase. Being the Master of One’s Domain is just one of several quotes from the show that became part of our modern vernacular. It’s right up there with “Sponge-worthy,” “It’s About Nothing,” “Do the Opposite,” and “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

So, thanks, Jerry, and the gang. Those simple phrases carry rich imagery. It’s amazing how a show about nothing said so much to so many. Maybe I’m dating myself. Maybe not. Thanks to the wonders of syndication, a whole new generation is falling for, laughing with, and learning from “Seinfeld.”

What does all this have to do with marketing? Lots.

Not Every Potential Customer is Sponge-worthy

Every potential customer is on his own journey. It may or may not lead to a deeper level of commitment. It may or may not lead to a conversion.

It’s a whole string of baby-steps. (tweet)

Some potential customers are sponge-worthy. Some (most?) aren’t.

The customer’s journey is the thing, and there are as many journeys as there are customers. You need to tailor your engagement methods for every step along that journey. But who can keep track?

Push too hard or too soon, and you lose them. Don’t push when it’s time, and they lose interest.

Welcome to the New Marketing Tightrope. (tweet)

Seinfeld_TextBookIt Really Is a Show About Nothing

We call Jerry Seinfeld’s brand of stand-up,” situational comedy.” Back then, it was “A Show About Nothing.” That Nothing was certainly something!

We need to put that idea into practice.

The textbook idea of a buyers’ journey is a straight line. It starts with initial awareness and progresses in a smooth line all the way to purchase.

It’s a pretty graph. It’s nice. It’s clean. It’s symmetrical.

It’s bull.

We only know for certain when a buyer is at the start of his journey and when he’s at its end. Two points define a line, so there you go. Mathematically, it’s correct.

It’s still bull.

Seinfeld_REALThis graph is a more accurate portrayal of a buyer’s journey. It’s less mathematically correct. At first glance, it may not even seem actionable.

Just a few short years ago, it wasn’t.

That was then. This is now.

Technology, in consumers’ hands, got us into this mess. Technology will get us out of it. We just need to figure out which technology to use.

It’s a show about nothing. It’s a whole string of little nothings that, maybe, just maybe, will add up to a whole lot of something. It won’t happen with everyone.

It will happen with enough people to make it worth the while. (tweet)

George Taught Us to “Do the Opposite!”

Not since the invention of Guttenberg’s Press has anything shaken us up like the mobile device.

I can’t bring myself to call it a phone. It’s so much more than that.

Guttenberg’s Press brought knowledge to the masses. You didn’t need to employ scribes. You could get a copy of a book in days, not months. Ready access to books put knowledge in everybody’s hands.

Sound familiar?

I truly believe that future historians will equate our times with Guttenberg’s times. And, for exactly the same reason.

We need to learn from George Costanza. Seinfeld_COMBOWe need to do the opposite. The opposite of what, though?

The opposite of what we’ve been doing so far.

Because of our mathematically accurate model of the Buyers’ Journey, we place our efforts in these two circles. We ignore the rest of the Journey.

Our model says the rest of the journey doesn’t exist.

Our model is wrong. Just look at how much of the Journey we miss.

Seinfeld_oppositeWe all know it. It isn’t that we don’t recognize the fallacy. It’s that we can’t measure the true path.

Why do we need to?

No, really, why?

Stop thinking about the days of Consumer Ignorance, they’re gone. (tweet)


Consumers have choices and they know it.  If you try to treat everybody like they are Sponge-worthy, you’ll go nuts.

So, don’t.

Instead, do the opposite! Do what sounds logical, but seems counter-intuitive. If we do that, we actually cover more of the journey than if we stick to the tried-and-UNtrue.

Doing what we’ve always done AND adding the opposite are not mutually exclusive.

Doing the opposite means, you don’t need in-depth CRM data for non-sponge-worthy prospects.  That’s most of them.

It would be nice to be able to dovetail their info into the CRM if they ever become sponge-worthy. Until then, it’s enough to know they exist, and how to get a hold of them. That means name, email, cell phone, and region.

An incoming text gives you their cell number. A two-field form gives you a name and associated email. Make it double opt-in and you don’t even need to confirm email validity.

From there, it’s simple to track to a general region using an IP address.


Don’t clog your CRM with little snippet records. Respect the journey. (tweet) Keep your CRM for those who are well down the path.

All of this leads to Being the Master of Your Domain

We don’t mean in the Seinfeld-esque sense. We mean you need to own your relationships.

For now, we need to start transitioning from email to mobile. We need to do that even if we don’t plan on using direct SMS bulk communication just yet. We need to provide an incentive for consumers to contact us using their devices. From there, we build our lists.

That’s right, we build OUR lists. We don’t build Facebook’s list, or Twitter’s list, or LinkedIn’s list. We build ours. (tweet) We decide what to do with it and when.

We move forward staying true to the CASL. No one wants to re-take that class!

Mobile is more intrusive, so we need to tread lightly. It’s also more effective. It’s more immediate. It’s more likely to get noticed.

If you need to tell your spouse to pick up a quart of milk on the way home, do you email or text?

You don’t need full CRM integration for everybody, only for those nearing the end of the journey. By the time they get there, it will be easy to roll them in.

It’s common to collect email addresses. Doesn’t it make sense to collect cell phone numbers as well? I know, nobody really does that. Let’s start. Let’s do the opposite.

You don’t need to roll out a new communications platform. Just collect the data. As your Domain grows, it will be easier to justify its use. That’s when you will be its Master.

Jerry Seinfeld said, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

Exactly, Jerry, exactly!


About the Author

Peter Pinfold is a co-founder of MobileXCo, a mobile technology and solution provider.

MobileXCo simplifies the world of mobile marketing.  Do you want to connect, identify, and build 1:1 relationships with your customers? Ask me about the Tether™ Experience Management Platform!

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