Have you been to a large social gathering lately? Maybe a family reunion? Or a networking event? One minute you’re chatting with your Aunt Mable, 85, about her flower beds and the next minute you’re chatting with your niece Shauna about the new boy band she’s discovered.
You become a bit of social chameleon at these things. One minute you’re walking down memory lane and chatting about roses and flower beds and the next you’re trying to appreciate the merits of “The WonderBoyz”.
We know instinctively how to shift our focus to talk about what matters to our audience and use the language appropriate for them. The same approach is needed when marketing your product.
Let’s say you’ve developed a tasty snack. It’s made of all organic ingredients, it’s nut-free, gluten-free, sugar-free and comes in four delicious flavours. The people who like your snack will differ in their reasons for liking it, their ages will differ and their needs will differ too.
You may have one group who are gluten intolerant and like it because your snack won’t lead to stomach pains. Another group, like it because of its low glycemic index and want to use it as part of their training regimen. And yet another group are Moms who like it because its peanut free, wholesome and offers a nice change from the same old granola bars she’s been buying for her kid’s lunch box.
Obviously each of these groups are different and like Mabel and Shauna, these people don’t necessarily speak others’ language, consume the same media or listen to the same music.
It’s important to identify these target markets early on in your marketing efforts and allocate resources to speak to each of them. Your brand and package won’t change obviously, but your messaging and media buy will. Effective marketing requires you to speak to the right people in the right ways and in the right places. There is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to marketing.
Over time, you may determine that one audience is very small and stop focussing on them or you may allocate a line or two in copy with them in mind. But you should be aware of their existence nonetheless. Some level of consumer research can determine who buys and why. This can be done formally with a research firm or less formally through simply chatting with your customers at the next event or market you attend.
Get to know them and learn to speak their language. Or you risk talking “boy bands” with Aunt Mabel.