Target audience insight. It’s the “who” of effective marketing strategy. It inspires creative teams to greatness. It makes the difference between good communications and powerful engagement. In short, it’s the Holy Grail to many marketers. Yet the quest to find it can be worthy of an Indiana Jones sequel.
Identifying your target audience is easy. Many strategies simply label the target – Moms. Adults age 25-54. C-level executives. Better strategies dig a layer deeper, describing something about them — Moms who are frustrated because their kids won’t eat healthy foods. Adults age 25-54 who own a car. C-level executives who love golf.
These phrases do describe the target audience, but they still only crack the surface. Where’s the insight? Insight results from painting a complete picture of your target, viewing the world through their eyes.
As an experiment, I recently asked Marketing Discussion Board, How would you describe your job in language a 5-year-old could understand? The responses included:
“I make some of the commercials that you see on TV and in mommy’s magazines.”
“I do things that make people happy to buy stuff.”
“I meet people and request them to buy (my company’s product), the same as I request you to drink milk.”
Someone even said, “I’m guessing, ‘I think s*** up’ probably won’t cut it. So how about…I think up ways to tell people about the stuff companies make, so they can sell it.”
It was apparent that each respondent thought carefully about what would be understandable, important, and appropriate for a 5-year-old. This same skill should guide the development of compelling target audience insight. When you get it right, your marketing will interest, engage, and motivate your target.
Our new B2B campaign for Manheim, the world’s largest wholesale automotive auction, is designed to do exactly that – articulate the benefits of buying and selling vehicles at auction through the eyes of the various personalities that conduct business there. Whether a Magician or Cowboy, Detective or Prospector, we hope Manheim’s target sees a bit of themselves in the campaign and is more receptive to Manheim’s message as a result.
So before you start your next campaign, dig deep, walk a mile in your target’s shoes and, find out what is really important to them. You’ll be glad you did.
— Pam Alvord, EVP, Chief Brand Strategist