Keeping Your Audience Top of Mind
Do you know who’s buying your product or service? Do you have multiple audiences? Do they have the same needs and use your product or service in the same way? Most likely, if you have multiple audiences, talking to them with the same message is going to fail for one or all groups. An essential element to communicating is understanding who your audiences are and defining them as accurately as possible. By identifying your audience, you can communicate the benefits of your offering in a very targeted way that will most resonate with that audience.
When I started out in Advertising, one of my first assignments was to provide marketing, creative and media teams a full description of our client’s audience. In the 1980s, the only information we had was simple audience demographics.
- Marital Status
- Age Range
- Household size
- Household Income
- Median Income
I took it one step further, by building a visual board of people and lifestyle photos to help the marketing team, creative team, and media gain a better understanding of the audience.
Today, there is an enormous amount of information available through research and websites. There are sources of free demographic and psychographic data as well as data to purchase. Depending on your business the Return on Investment of buying data may be significant. We are now building buyer personas and infographics that detail the ideal customer. The Persona includes demographics, behavior patterns, motivation, and goals. The more detail the buyer persona, the better chance you have of reaching and talking to your audience.
The basics of marketing and reaching an audience haven’t changed since the beginning of modern marketing. The area that has improved is our ability to define our audience and create targeted benefit-oriented messages. The variety of vehicles for reaching individuals and business has increased dramatically. With the Internet sites, targeted email marketing, and social media, we now have the opportunity to both reach our audience and collect actionable data. We have the ability to track how individuals move through a website or the most popular vehicles by which they view information.
The takeaway: Taking the time to define your audience and create a target-specific message, through vehicles that reach that audience, will differentiate yourself from the competition. If you have multiple audiences, develop messages to speak to each of in the way that resonates. Muddled messages have the risk of not resonating with any audience. We have the tools, so it behooves us all to use them.