How are you defining your target audience?

Image via The Bilerico Project

It’s simple. Different people want, need, seek out and require different things, thus the way you communicate one idea must be crafted in a way that can be available, understood, appreciated and relatable to the specific group you’re talking to.

My last boss wouldn’t settle for the usual demographic info, you know, “mid-upper class female age 35-50 living in the southeastern part of the country”, instead she wanted us to really KNOW who we were developing products for and who we were marketing to.  This idea was simple and it was genius.

So you have this brilliant marketing strategy developed and you can’t wait to get things underway. Ask yourself some questions about the product or service you’re marketing and most importantly, ask yourself some questions about the people who you want to use this product or service and consider how they’re gonna get it. Consider as many things as possible about this person and his or her life that will give you a better understanding of how your marketing plans will be received.

Let’s look at a made-up example. I am selling the little cleaning wipes for eyeglasses. Normally, I’d say, my target audience is anyone who wears glasses and I need to get these things in the optometrist’s office and in drug stores next to the eye drops and reading glasses. Let’s dive in a deeper, though.

There’s Dave.
42 years old, attorney, bringing in about 75K, has a wife, two kids and a golden retriever. His favorite sport is baseball and he relies pretty heavily on his wife to help with anything that doesn’t involve law or sports. He likes what he likes and his glasses are a classic black Kenneth Cole frame.

There’s Michelle.
18 years old, college student, frequents nightclubs, coffee shops and has a part time job as a server. She has a very small budget that basically only allows for coffee, pitiful meals and cute shoes here and there. She loves technology and goes to sleep with her cell phone in her hand. Her style is all over the place and her glasses are funky polka-dot frames.

Dave and Michelle have two things in common. They wear glasses and they have a ton going on. So that means that they probably don’t have time to buy wipes for their glasses and they problem stick to using their shirts or any type of fabric they can find to clean them. So who do you suppose would get these things for them? Probably Dave’s wife and Michelle’s mom. Let’s say she’s the same person. Let’s call her Marie.

Marie is 40. She’s a schoolteacher. She has a husband who’s an attorney, one kid in college and another in high school. She has a dog. She loves to cook and she loves reality TV. Between work and home, she has a lot of people relying on her. She manages the household finances and tries to plan engaging lesson plans for her students.  She dabbles in social media, but she’s still learning. Marie does not wear glasses.

We want Marie to buy these eyeglass wipes for her family. Since she has a lot going on AND she does not wear glasses, we need to get these wipes in front of her, we can’t wait for her to seek them out, because she has a thousand other things to worry about.

Why don’t we consider a creative near-register POP display with jump-out copy like:
“Are you seeing things clearly? When’s the last time you replaced your eyeglass wipes?” Ok, that’s pretty lame, but you get the point. Something to remind her how it important it is that she buy these for her husband and daughter.

She likes reality TV, so we need to make note of that for our media buying. Maybe we don’t have enough money to do commercials, so maybe we look into getting ads on blogs that are heavy on the reality TV reviews.

She has a kid in college, so let’s reach out to see if anyone is interested in partnering to build some college care packages to advertise to moms.

She’s into social media, so let’s meet her there, too. And so on, and so forth. My point is to really think about who the person is that you want to reach, and not some census-eque demographic information. The insight and the results that you gain will be invaluable.

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