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.