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Know. Your. People.

In a world of multiple platforms, marketing verticals and digital tools, it can be challenging to decide how to most effectively allocate your marketing spend for the greatest ROI. Many entrepreneurs and small businesses focus on tactics - social media posts, events, emails, SMS in an effort to get going and get out there as quickly as possible, while neglecting to do the foundational work necessary to set the effort up for the greatest chance of success: defining audience.

Today more than ever it is critical to not only define your audience, but understand them, follow them, and engage with them in an authentic, genuine way. A marketing effort with an audience of "everyone we can capture between 25 and 65 that likes to drink wine," is not highly likely to connect you with your people because it simply is not defined to connect. The algorithm does not work well with a generalized approach.

Instead, get laser-focused on your people by using brand attributes and positioning to define exactly who you want to reach. Understand that you can have more than one audience, and usually do, and that as you make efforts and assess the success or failure of those efforts, that your audience can be adjusted. The answers produced by these questions will form audience fairly naturally. It will also shine a light on who is not in your audience.

Questions to ask to define your audience:

  • Who are they?

  • What do they stand for?

  • What do they do for fun?

  • Where do they work?

  • What do they buy and use?

  • Who do they spend time with and what do they spend time doing?

  • On what platforms and within what mediums?

Next, think about the attributes of your brand that would appeal to the characteristics of each audience. Again, every attribute will likely not appeal to each audience, so be realistic and focused on the specifics, leaving behind attributes that do not relate. Approach your marketing with an abundance mindset that you know your customers, know what makes them tick, and are confident in what you have to offer them and the specific benefits of your product or service as related to what they are interested in. On the flip side, leave behind audience members who do not fit your brand and trust that there are plenty of customers for everyone.

Finally, with your audiences well-defined, plan and access platforms and verticals where your people are, and start connecting in the way they receive and utilize information. Social, email, SMS, experiences, website, and in-person can be utilized individually or leveraged together with written content, video, photography and more. Watch analytics, follow insights, and measure and record how efforts perform. Adjust as you go and as needed to meet and exceed objectives.

When you know your audience - really take the time to know them, and how to reach them with a message that they care about and are interested in receiving, your marketing efforts produce greater return with less effort and budget.

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