Marketing is all about telling stories to captivate your audience. Your mission… should you choose to accept it… is to take your readers on a journey to reach a pot of gold. The gold being whatever benefit is most important to them.
How do you do that? How do you captivate someone reading your website, postcard, email… whatever type of marketing communication piece you’re presenting?
This is a 4-part series and over the next four posts I’ll give you at least 8 ways. They’re pretty in depth so I broke them up to make them easy to digest. You can jump to each part using the links below:
- Part 1: 8 Things You Must Know to Speak Their Language
- Part 2: Emotions, Solving Problems, Meeting Needs
- Part 3: No Time for Tricks, Ask for What You Want
- Part 4: Your Expertise & Incentives
Here are the first 2 Keys to Captivating Your Audience:
1. Make Sure You Actually Choose the RIGHT Audience – Identifying your target market is critical to the success of your marketing campaigns. If you miss this important step you will be pouring money into a bottomless pit. In order to effectively connect with your audience, you must first understand who they are. For example, you wouldn’t waste money sending 5,000 “welcome to the world of mommy-hood” catalogues to households with single women who have never had children. You must target your audience.
Once you identify who you want to reach, your message can be targeted to capture the attention of that audience. You should understand the demographics of your audience – how old are they, what is their yearly income, where do they live. Are they within five miles of your business or further? You should also understand the psychology of your audience. How do they think, where do they hang out, what magazines do they subscribe to, what are their hobbies, etc. You should know if your target customers are members of any special organizations or associations. These are all crucial questions to be answered when you are crafting your marketing message.
Knowing your audience up front keeps you from drowning in a sea of useless mass marketing communications. Being a jack of all trades is not always good. You end up just being busy and never mastering one thing. If you decide that you want to market to women, ages 30-45, who are stay-at-home moms, you can create a niche market that can bring you more sales than a sell-everything-to-everybody approach ever will.
There are several questions you should be able to answer about your target audience (8 Things You Must Know to Speak Their Language):
- What gets them excited?
- What frightens them?
- What makes them angry and who are they angry with?
- What frustrates them?
- What are their greatest desires?
- What do they dream about?
- Who else is reaching out to this audience?
- Are they failing or succeeding?
Answering these questions and solving the problems that they represent will endear you to your audience. They will reward your sensitivity with their much sought after patronage and even more importantly, they will send others just like them your way.
2. Speak Their Language – Every audience has a language that they speak. If you doubt this just listen to an adult talk to a baby. What they’re saying is clearly unintelligible but the baby loves it! In any marketing that you do, the language you use is critical to the success of your message being communicated effectively.
Today’s generation of youth speak a completely different language than the Baby Boomers of yesterday. From sagging pants and diamond earrings to spiked hair and tattoos, you have to talk like they talk if you want to reach them. If you provide a service or product to other businesses, you wouldn’t talk to a dentist the same as you would a caterer. The terminology – i.e. the language – is not the same.
All of the research that you did when choosing your market (see Key #1) is the foundation you need. Now, armed with that information you can learn to speak directly to the issues and concerns of your particular audience. If your business is teaching people self-defense techniques, a 40 year old single mother may be interested in your service because she wants to get her pre-motherhood body back. A 20 year old college student might be interested just because he wants to be a skilled black-belt. A 70 year old grandmother could just want to feel safer when she goes out.
You would speak to each of these audiences differently. You would appeal to the unique needs that you know they each have. You wouldn’t give the grandmother a brochure full of the latest slang. You wouldn’t write a message that appeals more to a man’s ego for the single mother. And you wouldn’t talk about slim thighs and firmer buns to the college student. Speaking their language is the only way that you are going to get them to hear you. Otherwise you can count on your brochure being trashed or your flier being ignored.
This is all basic common sense really. Just look at how you shop. You have a need first and you look for someone to meet that need. If you don’t understand what they are offering you, their message never penetrates your consciousness. You can pass by their billboard every day and never “see” it because its language doesn’t capture you.
So as you craft your message for your marketing communications, find out the language that your audience speaks. This type of research and attention to details done upfront will pay huge dividends later.