You know your business and your industry better than anyone, but to really maximize your marketing, it’s not enough to know your products and services inside and out. You have to know your customers inside and out. Effective marketing goes deep and gets inside the heads of your target audience, and speaks to their likes, dislikes, values, priorities, and lifestyles.
Learn How To Talk To Your Audience
Marketers figure out how to speak to a target audience by constructing Buyer Personas — a general description of what characteristics define your target audience. Though Buyer Personas won’t describe absolutely everyone in a target market, they’re useful for narrowing down the tone, content, and tactics used in the marketing campaigns we employ to reach the majority of those ideal customers.
We start building a Buyer Persona by asking basic questions about the demographics of a businesses’ target audience, like age, industry, geographical region, education and income level. If you could describe your customer, what types of clothing do they wear? What kind of car do they drive? A customer who goes to work in a fuel-efficient Prius and yoga attire will likely have different preferences, needs, and motivations than one who drives an extended cab pick-up truck and carries a Leatherman. Small details form a complete picture of your target and can help you understand how best to communicate with them. (Don’t forget, this should be based on actual customers you are attracting, not who you believe you should attract. For example, incorrect assumptions are often made about genders so make sure you educate yourself with articles such as this she-conomy.com which explains some common pitfalls and how to avoid them. Many marketing campaigns have fallen flat because advertisers missed the mark on who they appealed to.)
How To Start Connecting
When it comes to choosing between these marketing modalities, the purchasing behaviors of your target audience should dictate the tactic. A full analysis of your target audience provides the necessary insight into the shopping and buying behaviors of your ideal customers, and helps businesses make informed decisions when choosing between digital and traditional methods. Some examples include:
Social Media: Choose social media platforms your target audience is most likely to frequent. While younger age groups are particularly active on SnapChat and Instagram, a target audience of professionals in the prime of their career would more likely be found on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Traditional Media: Instead of focusing on platforms with the largest reach, focus on where your audience is. For example, a top 40 radio station may have the largest reach, but if your audience is listening to talk radio, that may be best platform. Likewise, newspapers with the largest reach may not be the same publications your audience reads cover to cover.
Content (White Papers, Case Studies, Blogs): Where long technical papers may be too detailed to catch the interest of a CEO, they could be perfect for an engineer who needs to know that your product meets his specific requirements. Some consumers may appreciate humor, memes, and hyperbole, where other demographics prefer you to get to the point.
No matter what method you choose, all language, imagery, and offerings should reflect the needs and desires of your target market. The better you know your ideal customer, the more effective your marketing will be.