Knowing Your Target Audience

The first question I usually ask when meeting with a prospective client is “who is your target audience?” You wouldn’t think it’s a hard question to answer, but it invariably is for some businesses.

Knowing your target audience is the very first thing that anyone hanging out a shingle as a marketing strategist should be asking you.

It is the question that determines everything.

If you pick up any book on marketing, chances are one of the first rules you are going to come across is to specialize. Know your niche. Narrow your focus.

Look at any book on becoming a better writer, and you most likely will find advice stating that you need to be writing for your reader.

Every single marketing decision should revolve around “Who is your target audience.”

When it comes to creating marketing content strategies, there is considerable noise around the phrase “thought leadership.” This approach is where you are positioning yourself as an expert and if executed properly, can be a valuable tool in your marketing strategy.

Unfortunately, most thought leadership initiatives suck. Companies produce massive quantities of content that no one cares about. When you dig into conversion rates, you frequently find that while there might be tons of traffic, none of it is your target audience.

Creating content just to hear yourself speak is a rotten strategy. I call it the love fest syndrome.

The love fest syndrome is a false notion that your content is brilliant and therefore everyone wants to hear/read everything you produce no matter what.

This is patently false. Unless the material you produce offers some value to the reader (aka your target audience) what’s the point?

With that in mind the next time you are interviewing a potential creative agency/analytical consulting group, pay attention. If they don’t ask in meeting number one who your target audience is, then move on.

Business Strategy Compass
Conceptual 3D render image with depth of field blur effect. Compass needle pointing the green word strategy over natural paper background.

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