Rethinking Your Target Audience

How well do you know your target audience? Wait! Don’t answer that. It’s a trick question. If you started to answer, you might have a targeting problem. That’s because the right answer is, “I have more than one!” When developing any print or digital marketing campaign, brands generally have multiple target segments for each product or category of products, even if they don’t realize it. Take, for example, diapers. Sure, new mothers need lots of diapers, but so do nannies, grandparents caring for grandchildren, and day care centers. All of these audiences need to be marketed to differently.

Furthermore, not every audience has the same need at the same time:

A businessman might have one need when racing through an airport trying to catch a flight and then have an entirely different need when taking his young children there for a weekend lunch. A time-strapped mom may appreciate the convenience of a drive-thru after swim practice, but she may want a healthier option for her and her children at other times.

Here are three ways you can look at segments differently to maximize every opportunity.

1. Identify your audiences— all of them

How many segments can you come up with? Divide them into primary, secondary, and tertiary audiences. What are the differences? What are the commonalities? How can you use this information to segment your mailings more

2. Identify and market to other stakeholders

Say you are holding a community event. You want to boost attendance and generate excitement among attendees, but who else might you benefit from engaging with? Local businesses? The Chamber of Commerce? Radio and television stations?

3. Keep your brand proposition consistent

Different audiences may buy at different times for different reasons, but the core value to each segment should stay the same. Whether a teenager trolls the McDonald’s drive-through at midnight or a normally “cook at home” mom hits the drive-through after soccer practice, the motivations may be different, but the core value proposition you present (quick food that tastes good) should remain consistent. How many audiences do you have? Find them all. Don’t leave sales on the table!

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