In last week’s blog I told you that one of the most important things you can do when creating or defining your brand is to ask yourself “who are my audience”
This week I’m going to explain why this is so vital and how to go about answering that question.
Why does it matter?
Remember the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none”? If you market yourself to ‘anyone and everyone’ the chances are you won’t catch anyone’s attention.
Take Barbie, for example: If Mattel had launched Barbie whilst trying to appeal to ‘everyone’, what sort of product would they have had? In truth Barbie could have appealed to any number of people: male, female, young, old etc. but in 1959 there was a very obvious demographic: white females between the ages of 4 and 12 (or thereabouts), who were being brought up to be homemakers. With this in mind, they marketed to that group (in fact they had a secret secondary market: the mothers of those girls, who were the ones who would actually splash the cash). By drastically cutting the numbers of people they could appeal to, they actually improved the chances of selling units.
Now Barbie may seem like an odd example to use here, but I do so because Mattel is a company which has recognised the need to reassess their target audience: they are now working hard to create dolls that appeal to boys and girls of all races, body types and interests. If ‘perky blonde Barbie’ had been their only offering, the company would have done very poorly in the 21st century, but Mattel have recognised the importance of demographics.
So when it comes to your audience it really is better to be a specialist rather than a generalist.
I’ll give you another example: I’m a regular at networking events, and very often participants are given the opportunity to tell a room full of potential referral partners what sort of customer they’re looking for. The majority of new business people, desperate not to exclude anyone, will hedge their bets – “I’m a skincare specialist looking for anybody with skin!” “I’m an accountant and I want to talk to people with a bank account” people generally smile, nod….and then walk away and forget them, because they’re simply being too general. It’s not targeted and it certainly isn’t memorable. I know hundreds of people with skin…who do I talk to?
However, if I was told that somebody offered treatment for liver spots – that they were looking for women between the ages of 60 and 90, who took pride in their appearance and wanted to slow down the aging process – suddenly I’m picturing specific people in my life.
If you know that much about your target audience then you can use colours, images, even fonts that you know would appeal to them. you can place your ads in the right magazine, or go to the places they’re likely to go. Suddenly you’re not just another voice among the noise: you’re the company that catches their attention.
How to define your target audience
In order to target your ideal clients however, you need to have a clear picture of them in your head. The best advice I can give you is this: create an ‘avatar’ of your ideal client. Picture your perfect customer in your head and then put them onto paper: What’s their age? Where do they live? What social media do they use (more on that next week), what problems do they have? How can you solve those problems?
Once you have a clear picture in your head, you can start to think about how best to appeal to them. Suddenly your marketing becomes focused, clear and so much easier!
To help make this process a little easier (because let’s face it, it’s one of those tasks that can be quite difficult to know where to start), we have created a The Ultimate Ideal Customer Profiling Workbook to help you get really clear on who your ideal customer is.