The modern media landscape can be overwhelming. Every day, seemingly millions of messages compete for our attention, pulling us in all kinds of directions. Due to the impossibility of processing such a volume of information, we have honed our filters to a point that simply getting our attention now can be a mountainous task.
As a marketer, this can pose an enormous challenge. How do you get your communications to really connect with your audience? How do you get them not only to stop and pay attention, but to actually take action. There’s no denying the challenge, but in every challenge lies opportunity.
Fortunately, there are a few strategies that will help you along the way and it begins with understanding your audience.
A deep understanding of your audience will help you tailor your messaging in a way that they connect with. It’s important to understand that your audience doesn’t really care about you, they care about what you can do for them.
The better you can articulate what you can do for them in what you say, the more effective your marketing will be.
Below you will find a three step process that will set you on the way to crafting killer communications that your audience connect with.
Before you can do that, you need to know who they are.
Let’s get this out of the way now… 18-35 males is not an audience, it is a broad demographic born out of the glory days of mass media. With the advance of technology, demographics have fractured into infinite niches and sub niches. Whilst age and gender are good first steps, they should not alone constitute a target audience
The more specific you can be about your audience, the better. It comes with a range of benefits such as:
– Reduced costs on advertising spend through more precise targeting
– Improved conversion rates through more tailored and relevant communication
– Increased trust and likability from your audience by demonstrating you get them
But where do you start?
At a basic level, you want to clarify their basic demographics, interests and where you would find them. For example:
– Marital Status
– Income level
– Life stage (school, university, part time work, full time work, kids etc)
– What are their hobbies and interests?
– What websites / magazines do they read?
– What do they do in their free time? Where do they hang out?
This will give you an effective foundation and a general picture of who you are talking to, but the real value lies in getting in their heads and uncovering a deeper understanding.
Doing this effectively is what will really give you the edge. Most companies don’t take the time to really get in the heads of their customers which means that, by doing so, you gain a competitive edge. You can be the company that really seems to understand your customers.
To add to your basic profile, you want to understand what key problems your customers have and how your product or service solves them.
Solving problems is the essence of all products and services. People will pay you to solve their problems, so it’s important to know what they are.
You can view these problems as either practical or emotional. You may already know what practical problem your product solves, it is usually fairly clear, but behind every practical problem, lies an emotion. It is the emotional problem that is the more important one. Humans are emotional beings and we tend to make our decisions based on emotion, then justify them with logic.
So what is a practical problem?
Hiring someone to clean your apartment solves the problem of having a dirty apartment. It also solves the problem of having to spend time & energy doing it yourself.
Those are practical problems.
But behind those problems lie emotions. Why does someone want a clean apartment? What emotional fulfilment does it bring? What emotional discomfort does it solve? These underlying emotions are actually the key behavioural drivers.
A dirty apartment can make someone feel stressed, overwhelmed, distracted, frustrated or ashamed. Hiring someone to clean the apartment can rid themselves of these negative emotions and replace them with feelings of calm, relaxation, focus and productivity.
What on the surface appears to be a practical problem, is driven by an undercurrent of emotions. Discover this undercurrent and embed it in your memory.
Clearly understanding the pain points and the core emotions at play will help you tailor your messaging to your audience in a way that resonates with them deeply and intuitively. It’s from this springboard of understanding, that the rest will flow.
Now that you have a far deeper understanding of your audience, you are better equipped to connect with and influence them.
The more simply and effectively you can communicate your message, the better. Each little bit of extra mental effort you require of your audience will create friction which will reduce your conversion rate. Speak in a language that resonates with them, articulate their challenges in their own words and present your offer as the solution to their problems. This generates a speed of understanding and fosters a strong connection.
People want to feel understood and when you show you understand, they will naturally gravitate to you. The fact you took the time to really understand their needs and problems puts you ahead of the competition. This builds trust, connection and increases the chances that they will become life long customers.
Your business wouldn’t exist without customers, so you owe it to yourself and your customers to understand them as best as possible.
About the author
Director and Founder Upside.Digital
Lee embarked on a journey in 2009 to move from IT to marketing and did so with a bang. She found her passion immediately within the performance based email marketing arena and has been working with clients since helping them drive up their online presence and ROI ever since.
With expert direction and leadership across digital strategy and online marketing Lee is a natural sales director fostering client relationships that have been with the company since its inception in 2009.
Quote: Don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid not to try