Jan 23, 2009

Keeping It Personal With Your Target Audience

A greeting card manufacturer once made a similar mistake when it launched a line of cards geared for aging Baby Boomers. Their promotional content played up the positive side of aging, which the manufacturer thought would appeal to the egos of these aging consumers. What the card maker didn't consider was that Baby Boomers don't like being perceived as old and definitely didn't want to be seen shopping in the "old people" section of the store. And as a result, none did. This serious misreading of their targeted audience ultimately led to the line being discontinued.

No one can create effective marketing content without a clear understanding of the target audience. This means that, before you type a single word, you have to do your homework.  You must discover the most effective way to directly connect to your audience, and the only way to do that is work with a team who can provide reliable, clear market research data.

Proven research methods make it much easier to pinpoint unique personalities of your target market.  With that information in hand, you'll be able to create marketing copy that appeals to a specific type of person instead of just making a general pitch to a faceless audience. This kind of personal connection with your target audience makes any marketing content, from an e-mail to a website, more in tune with the needs of your intended customers.  With a perfectly pitched message, here's what you're likely to see:

  • You'll be able to make a product seem more relevant to the consumers.
  • You'll be better able to illustrate how this product might address and even solve a particular problem this target group might have.
  • You'll also be able to convey how the product provides value to their everyday lives.

The insight target market research provides also helps to create content with the right tone and voice.  You'll be able to speak the target group's language and engage in a personal conversation with them.  Your content won't seem distant or sterile, and this makes your target consumers more likely to respond.

Of course, it's completely possible to write creative and interesting copy without properly researching your target audience.  The major problem with this approach, however, is that you run the risk of creating a marketing message that might be interesting, but that ends up completely missing the mark.  With this method, you may end up doing your research by default, and wasting a lot of time, energy, and potential profit in the process.


[Post contributed by Emily Carroll]