Niche marketing doggedly pursued a single-minded target.

​What kind of person are you and how do I serve you best?

NOW-niche marketing expands the question.

​What kind of person are you NOW and how do I serve you
best at this moment?

The operative question isn’t: Who are you? It’s: Who are you when?

We have entered a world which could be likened to “resort living”: Our lives are a series of experiences.

• In your career, you crave being an insightful manager.

• As a parent, you prize your status as an open and trusted guide for your children, prepared to offer meaningful advice as they explore the world and how it works.

• Among guests, you want to assert your skill as a commanding host or hostess with culinary flair and impeccable taste.

• As a free-time adventurer, you might scale rock-textured walls or chalk up your hands to solve the intricate problems of bouldering.

You want to be all of these things. Why not? And why not be able to alternate these multiple roles with split-second speed?

Why is this, in a sense, resort living? The pattern of our lives is rapidly acquiring a new texture . . . not unlike stakes in multiple and virtual timeshare condominiums. Ownership is fractional, and the emphasis is not on each property as an asset but as one venue among many in a series of explorations.

Total ownership of anything is binding and often becomes confining. What we own ends up owning us.

This is becoming how we shop as much as how we live. Consumers, particularly younger ones, want to change roles, peek into different worlds, and be stimulated by the excitement of fresh experiences. At first glance, this might seem like a “costume culture” – bent on superficial, chameleon-like changes. It’s actually much more profound. We are beginning to find that experiencing a full life entails having the versatility to agilely move from one high-level experience to another.

What has allowed us to become confident enthusiasts in this new ever-shifting world? Gaming may have plenty to do with it. Using a tool like Xbox Elite, your virtual skateboard can “shred” through tunnels one moment, and, in the next, you’re munching a Mocha Frappuccino-bar in the quiet confines of your pothos-lined cubicle.

We game for variety and to develop competence in a vast array of skills. We revel in being fast . . . and sure . . . and dexterous.
Our taste for gaming has predictably invaded the way we message each other. Texting, surely a gaming offshoot in many ways, has changed the tonality of writing and even talking. Superfluous, formalistic communication instantly makes us impatient.

Almost all of this interactivity is going on in another universe beyond the world of work. The work world has a long way to go to catch up with the live-wire positive energy of seeing and shaping experiences through virtual dialogue. (The email world of work is quite a different universe, usually barking orders through a voiceless command-and-control intercom rather than enticingly inviting participation.)

Human beings thrive on alternating play with work. Entrepreneurs and marketers, hang on to your hats, because that’s where you’ll find your payoff. The opportunity to do creative work is a powerful drive behind people throwing their body and soul into developing apps. Through flexing themselves in the creative “What if?” of forging apps, they have the chance to innovate as they are rarely permitted to in the workplace. We’re learning to influence the world in our social moments, and if you catch the brass ring, maybe you even find yourself a new career or found your own business.

For cash-strapped firms anxious to outboard their R&D, how can you beat this deal?!