Monday, March 14

Target Audiences: Knowing Where They Are

Many things have changed in the world of communications, but the old adage – “Start where your customer is” – still rings true. We have already established the importance of knowing your target audience, but once you have identified who they are you need to identify how to reach them.

In a perfect world, we as marketers would create campaigns for a product or service we actually use, a brand that we’re part of the target audience for. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect. You may be awesome at your job marketing to 15 year old girls, but that doesn’t mean you are in fact a 15 year old girl – that would just be weird. So how do you reach them?

Don’t worry, I am not going to suggest you take a lesson from Mel Gibson in What Women Want and start chewing Bubblicious and watching The Secret Life of the American Teenager religiously. While that approach may be quite entertaining, it isn’t very effective. You may not think like your target audience, but you do need to understand how they think and where their attentions lie.

Previously it was easy: your choices included typical top ten media like broadcast, print or outdoor. You knew the demographics and psychographics for each media outlet. You had a budget and divided your budget up accordingly with the peace of mind your message was reaching your target audience.

Now, its a little different. You have to work harder AND smarter AND faster. With the plethora of media outlets that are capturing people’s attention these days, it is easy for your message to become diluted and lost among the masses. And don’t forget that just because your target audience exists doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll find or listen to your brand. Sure, you might know that your consumers like Facebook, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll actively seek out your brand’s fan page. It’s no longer enough to blast a siren and hope that someone hears it. Build a strategy that works towards interacting with your audience AND working toward your marketing objective.

This post was originally published on Deep Ad Thoughts by The Cyphers Agency.

Friday, March 11

Knowing Your Target Audience

Advertising and marketing – it’s what we do. So in our line of work, sometimes we come across companies that are stuck in an “we” mindset: How we want our brand to be portrayed. What we think the strengths of our products or services are. Who we think should buy our brand. And as marketers, it is our job to help transform this thinking. Because, after all, its really about them – the consumer.

In order for any advertising and marketing initiative to be successful, you can’t ignore one of the most fundamental basics in the realm of marketing: understanding your target audience. But it goes beyond that. You’ve got to truly understand them: not just who you think they are but who they actually are. And, where they are and why they like you. By being honest with yourself about your target audience, you can effectively communicate with them to achieve your objectives and even get them to act on your behalf.

Even big name brands have had to learn this the hard way. Tommy Hilfiger, a brand recognized the world over, only gained success by learning some lessons along the way. The American powerhouse brand first attempted to establish their brand into Europe without adjusting their marketing and product strategies to fit the very different European target audience. After going back to the drawing board, Hilfiger returned with a more tailored brand message to the newly desired market: a more upscale, sophisticated brand than what is seen in the States. They changed not only their marketing strategy but even went as far to change their products to fit European tastes; choosing the European preferred wool over cotton.

Unfortunately, we aren’t all in Tommy’s shoes. We might not have the opportunity to learn the hard way and still have the chance to start over. For some, the first chance is really all there is. At the start of any new initiative, we must define who our target audience truly is, not just who we think or want them to be.

This post was originally published on Deep Ad Thoughts by The Cyphers Agency.