Is Anyone Listening?
The Basics of Marketing to Reach Your Audience
Client: We’re done! Third round LEAN testing it was obvious we really nailed it. I feel like our product offering is really solid and we know how to deliver it.
Client: But…I keep wondering how should we market it? Do we go all social media? Is it better to start at trades shows? Maybe we should be looking at PR and hitting the trade rags and… We have a limited budget and I just want to get it right.
Me: How have you defined your audience? That combined with what your potential market saw as benefits and draw backs in the LEAN market testing should give you solid insight.
Client: How exactly?
Me: Let’s just take a few minutes and talk it through.
Are you here? Do you have a new business, product or service, or maybe an existing one, and you just know it will sell but you aren’t sure how to get the word out to your target market? Maybe you are not even sure who your target market is exactly. For this you need a strategy and some boundaries.
Here are the basics:
Every message, no matter what stage of the strategic process your project is in, needs to be developed with the audience in mind. What differentiating factors does your audience need? These four defining steps will help you start developing a message for your audience.
project in this case can be an organization startup or event or product/service or message.
audience is anyone that will be hearing your message that you would like to become a customer.
customer is anyone you want to engage within the message process.
purchase is the action or commitment you want the customer to ultimately take.
1. Audience: To reach your audience you must first define who your audience is and possibly who is not your audience. You can define your audience by demographics, social groups, workplace, likes and dislikes, habits…or any number of things…ultimately who will be most interested in your project’s solution, is your audience. The more specific you can get the easier it will be to create a message they can’t resist. Why? Because you will be offering what they actually want in a way that they can hear and understand. That audience may be segmented into target audience (the most important/mostly likely to buy) and secondary audiences (may buy, or will buy but a smaller audience segment). Each audience may have slightly or wildly different messages, timing and vehicles.
2. Message: Put yourself in your audience’s shoes – you can only do this if you know what kind of shoes they wear, so define them well. What is important to them? What style of language will reach them easily. What do they value and care about? What do they object to and not want in your project. What words or sentiments can be used in your message that will resonate with them honestly? What message fits your reality and goals and your audience's needs and reality? As a social good company there is no need for fear mongering, no heart string pulls either. Just be real. If your project really does make the world a better place, that’s what the audience needs to know.
3. Timing: When in the purchase cycle or in a specific time of year or time of day is your audience likely to be most receptive to your message? What timing fits your audience and message?
4. Vehicles: What does your audience read, listen to or watch? Are they more likely to hear and act on your message if it is given to them through a friend, email, text, newspaper ad, TV show, radio commercial, event or ? What vehicles fit your brand, message and audience?
Once you think you have the four differentiating factors for reaching your audience figured out, put yourself in your audience’s shoes and see if your theory fits. If you think it does, contact a few friends, existing customers or even strangers who are in your target audience and see if they agree. Listen close to what they have to say – they may make a suggestion that makes all the difference in your gaining a purchase.
This is such an in depth topic! There is so much more detail and levels of choices to this, but no matter what level of detail you reach or the vehicles you choose to convey your message, these four differentiating factors are where you start and build from.
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Now do a little leg work and make your message happen! Your audience is waiting to be reached by you.