Misogynist. Irresponsible. Sexist Pig. David Pisarra, from the law firm Pisarra and Grist, has been called each of these after he wrote a post on BNET this week titled, ‘Why My Law Practice Is Just For Men.’ With such a bold title, this was a post that was definitely on my must-read list. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I started, but as I continued, it was clear this guy is a genius. When David started out working as an attorney, he cast a wide net and catered to everyone. As time went on, he found himself getting too emotionally involved with women and he felt more like a therapist, than someone that’s been hired to represent them. It was at this time that he decided to change gears and work specifically with men.
I enjoyed reading the comments almost as much as the actual post because of the stupidity of some readers. “You’re the reason there is still a glass ceiling.” Many folks completely misunderstood the article and his position. Can you fault Pisarra for defining his niche in the marketplace? Companies thrive everyday by creating and maintaining a specialized focus. This builds your brand and makes a name for yourself. He found the segment that worked best for him. Risky? Absolutely! Brilliant? You betcha.
In the email world, we understand that quality is much more relevant and important than quantity. I’d rather have 500k engaged customers than 1M detached customers. As marketers, we’re held accountable for the number’s and endlessly work to increase them. We even joke that email marketing never sleeps. Stats show that by trying to appeal to everyone, we appeal to no one. It’s common knowledge that by segmenting our customers (and potential customers), we are able to more effectively communicate with them. Not only do we build our brand, but we find our common voice. The data speaks for itself. Segmentation, testing, remails, personalization, they all play a part in the game of ROI. Like Pisarra, we know what works for us and where we need to change. As email marketers, we continually find ourselves fine-tuning our programs. There is always more that we can be doing, but the one thing that should remain consistent is our voice. Pisarra states in his post that he didn’t set out to be a huge firm. “Specializing in a focused niche and keeping a lower client load helps us achieve balance in our lives.”
If you know me personally, you probably know that I worked at an ESP for 3 years before joining the Red Pill team. During this time, the ESP made a strategic decision to stop catering toward the B2B side and focus on B2C. This meant everything from building partnerships with shopping cart abandonment companies, product recommendation engines and order management systems, to changing the voice of the brand. The sales team was understandably nervous as the amount of leads coming was dwindling. Everything changed. Two years later, they’ve become one of the leading ESP’s for the online retail space. The company almost doubled in size and revenue in the last few years. As precarious as it seemed, they’ve grown a ton and now offer their clients an excellent product with great services. Like Pisarra, they took a chance. They saw a niche in the marketplace and jumped on it.
The challenge for all of us is to find our own niche and create that voice to capture our ideal customers. If men can have a hair club, they can have their own attorney.