Do you know who your consumers are?
No, really. You may have an idea or a general read on the people who are interested in your products and services, but do you actually know them? Do you know their likes, dislikes, interests, and the things that they need in their daily lives?
If you’ve ever read a guide to marketing or advertising – or even a piece on management and public relations – they always seem to advocate learning about the audience in question. They’re right, of course; knowing an audience is key to effectively communicating with them.
But advertising is a different animal; there aren’t many people who enjoy sitting through commercials on television or having brands thrust in their face throughout the day. That’s why it’s so crucial to get the communication right. Advertising effectively starts with knowing who your customers are, where they are, and what they need.
How to Identify Your Customers
A company’s customer base can vary wildly, but there are usually connections that begin to form once you look more closely. Think of a toy company, for example. Their primary customers are going to be the parents that buy toys for their children, but there’s a good chance that grandparents and other relatives will buy as well. Charities and other organizations might also be interested – and of course, the children themselves need to be interested if you’ll have any hope of selling toys in the first place. Each of these different audiences have different needs and require equally diverse marketing techniques – but we’re already getting ahead of ourselves. We know the customer base, but do we understand the customer base?
One of the easiest ways to do this is to pose questions to your current customer base. These customers are already proven to be a part of your main consumer base and can provide valuable perspective on how your customers think.
Ask your customers how they found you, what they were initially searching for, and what else your company can provide to make their lives easier. If your advertising meets your customers in the right place and presents a message of meeting needs, you’re already ahead of the curve.
Put it on Paper
Advertisers sometimes struggle to produce compelling ads when they don’t truly consider their customers. One great way to fix that issue is to write down what you know.
Buyer personas are a fantastic way to conceptualize an audience by taking the demographic and psychographic information that you know about a certain audience and using it to create a semi-fictional character. It gives a name and face to your consumer base – which makes the writing process much easier. How much easier, you ask? Studies suggest that 63% of marketers use buyer personas in their content marketing.
Advertise Where Your Customers Are
It's such a simple statement, isn't it? Despite how straightforward that sounds, the data you've collected on your customers will be put to the test once it's time to finally advertise. For example, a store with a store front and local consumer base might invest in some local media ads in a newspaper or radio, and with physical ads that they can share with their local area.
There are a lot of business that will make advertising decisions based on feelings rather than trusting their data. Yes, television advertisements are popular, but do they truly make sense for your business?
Creating an Advertisement that Sells
Do you remember the advertisements of the 1990s and early 2000s? Advertisers in that time frame focused primarily on using humor and sarcasm to connect with their audience. Humor works – we all love Super Bowl commercials, right? – but over time, companies have found something that works even better: emotional appeals.
It’s hard not to feel compassion and empathy when you hear about Toms’ mission to donate shoes to those in need. Dove’s message of true beauty is heart-warming, as well.
Ideally, a successful advertising campaign can create brand ambassadors for your organization. Making an emotional connection can make that happen.
Advertising is a tricky subject to talk about because the end results will look much different depending on your consumer base. Despite that, the process of creating a successful advertising campaign is the same: talk to your ideal customers, learn from them, and use that information to establish a meaningful connection.