You are not your target market.

20:05 Monday Jun 23, 2014

by Terrence Bull


...and, in most cases, nor are your family or friends.

It seems obvious, but if I had a dollar for every time I have had to try and talk a client out of doing what they like, instead of what their target market wants, I would be very wealthy indeed.

For example, a middle aged male, which is the typical demographic of a business owner, is not a teenage girl - no kidding! So should we build a brand for a business targeted at teenage girls, that is owned by a middle-aged man, with colors, shapes and images that suit middle aged men? Or should we build it for the target market, which is a teenage girl?

The answer should be obvious. However, you have no idea how many times I have had a middle aged man telling me he likes certain very old fashioned colors - regardless of who his target market is. He reasons that what looks good to him must look good to everyone -WRONG!

This does not just apply to branding or choosing products for one’s target market. It also applies to advertising and marketing your company. Your marketing is not there to excite you or to entertain and impress your friends and family. It must be designed to attract your target market - that is, it must be outward focused not inward focused.

Following is a typical example of a print ad that is inwardly focused. Let’s break it down and see how it was created:

  • It has what is most important to the business owner at the top - the brand. After all, they reason, is this not what advertising is all about - getting our brand out there and visible?
  • Next we have the business address. Their building is what makes them important - is it not? They spend a lot of money on their building. Also people need to be able to find us.
  • Straight after this, in bold and big lettering, is their telephone number. What is the use of advertising if we don’t get a response from it - right? People will only call us if we have our phone number in some obvious place in the advertisement.
  • Now we should list all the things we do - and we do not want to miss anything out. After all, how else will they know what we do?
  • Finally we need some reason for the person to call us. Umm... how about a free measure and quote? That will work!

As you can see, this is entirely focused on the business - not the client or their wants and desires. So let us remake this advertisement with the focus being on the client and see what we get.

"Make the customer the hero of your story."
~ Ann Handley

In this advertisement, we can see that the least important thing is the company. The most important thing is the client and the offer we are making to them. After all, the client is not looking for your company; they are looking for something for themselves. Only after they find what they are looking for do they want to know who sells it.

We describe an offer, illustrate it with a picture and call them to respond with a call-to-action: “Don’t miss out, call us today!”

We give them the appropriate information about our company - the logo and the telephone number - but nothing they don’t need - i.e. the physical address (unless, of course, the point of the advert is to get them to come to that address - e.g. an in-store special offer).

“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt

This is the key, no one will want to buy what you have, unless you show that your primary concern is their well being - not yours. Your business needs to NOT be about just making money. It’s primary purpose, at least as far as the client sees, is serving the client, and the community, and meeting their needs.

Source: Dream: Profound Insights For Creating Business Success by Terrence Bull


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