Written by: Rachael Ryan
Have you ever been to a children’s birthday party when an adult gives one child some attention, then before they know it, every child at the party is vying for that adult’s attention? But the adult no longer has any time to give to any child because there are so many kids looking for it – in the end, no one gets attention and the adult goes back to conversing with the other adults.
That’s the world today! You’re the adult and brands are the children. We gave our attention to marketing - once or twice, maybe a couple of hundred times - and now every single brand is vying for our time and attention. The more brands compete for our attention, the less time and attention we have to give. As a result, we need brands need to more efficiently reach their customers.
There are more barriers than ever between you and your target audience. There are more channels from which to get information out there, there are an increasing number of social media channels, more apps, more news outlets, and more television series on more television streaming websites and TV channels, more adverts and more messages trying to be transmitted. All of this makes it even more important for you to understand your prospects and customers.
So how can you go about understanding your target audience?
Research, research, research! If you know nothing about your target audience in this day and age, you need to start researching. Research is the only means of finding out who your target audience is.
Find out your audience’s demographic – this is limited in its potential to present the motivations for buying but it will allow you to begin to form a picture. It’s limiting because it doesn’t tell you why – it tells you who the customer is (i.e. gender, age) and where they are but you’re missing the why and the how.
Straight off the bat, you need to understand your consumer’s goals. Why is your consumer buying your product? How did your consumer get to your product or service? Understand the problem or desire that your audience may have that will lead them to your product. In order to do that, you need to research the audience – research those who will be in the market for your product or service.
You might be thinking, that’s all well and good – but how can I get all of that information? Well, a survey will provide you with the answer. Research can help you determine not only the who, where and what but more importantly it can resolve the mystery of why and how! Not only that, it will also ascertain which segment of your audience will invest the most in your brand.
Segment your audience through research. Divide your audience into segments and provide content specific to them. Make sure your content is consistent, shareable and of a high quality. Your marketing won’t get any attention unless it’s worth the audience’s while – don’t offend your target audience by contending for their attention via poor quality content. I can assure you no one will give you attention the next time you contend for it!
Choose how to engage your audience wisely. Where do they get their information? If your audience doesn’t listen to podcasts then don’t choose that as your means of communication with them. If they ordinarily read blog posts that they see on Twitter then don’t focus all of your attention on Snapchat.
Be true to your brand. Finally, we live in a world filled with skeptics; always remain honest and true to your brand. Consumers today are quick to flag when they are being fed nonsense and drivel – it will do more damage to your brand than good if you try to get their attention with content that has a spurious link to your brand. Be sure to remain authentic. That way, you’ll become someone that your audience trusts and wants to invest in.