Study art to be creative, study your audience to be effective
Defining and understanding a target audience is an essential step in creating a meaningful, effective branding campaign.
Turning potential customers into loyal brand advocates requires marketing efforts be aimed at customers based on their unique characteristics. Instead of reaching for the entire market with generic messaging, target marketing focuses energy into connecting with a defined group either by:
- Demographic: gender, age, education, marital status, religion
- Psychographic: interests, hobbies, beliefs, lifestyle
- Behavior: purchasing habits, current brand loyalty
- Geography: neighborhood, zip code, region
Target marketing can be as elementary as not spending advertising dollars on snow tire commercials in South Louisiana. It can also include analyzing hundreds of data points to consider the psychological influences and subconscious beliefs of consumers.
One interesting example is when statisticians at Target used legally-obtained customer data on purchasing habits and, in more than one case, predicted a customer’s pregnancy before the customer herself was aware and used this for targeted marketing.
Data-collection practices by companies like Target and Facebook have raised serious questions and concerns about privacy, appropriate marketing practices and ethics in recent years. But targeted marketing does not have to be, and often is not, an invasive process. It starts with simply thinking through the goals of your business and who your products or services most likely appeal to.
Simply put — if you are not targeting your media buy to your primary audience, then you may not be maximizing your marketing budget to its fullest potential.
And although not all media allow for such narrow targeting, it is all but essential in today’s modern media world to include some form of digital in your campaign strategy. Whether it’s digital display, social media, video pre-roll, or streaming TV or radio media, there are a variety of opportunities to drive your message exactly to the consumers you want to receive it.
Directly connecting with people already interested in your product or service will ultimately put more money in your pocket by increasing ad effectiveness, decreasing unnecessary spending and building branding loyalty.
In the words of advertising pioneer Keith Reinhard, brands should be like a good friend, understanding your needs and trying to connect with them. Strike a chord with potential customers and boost current brand buy-in by tailoring the content and delivery of your advertising with target marketing.