By Samantha Jacobson, Founder of TenXPR
What do Coca-Cola, Gatorade, and Capri Sun all have in common?
Yes, they are all indeed popular beverage brands, but that’s not what this is about. From a PR and marketing lens, each one of these brands has a very specific customer base, and no two are alike. Let’s take a look.
Coca-Cola markets to adults who want a bubbly refresher.
Gatorade has captured the hearts of fitness junkies and athletes who aim to stay hydrated.
Capri Sun’s fun, fruity flavors cater to kids whose parents can’t convince them to drink water.
Each one of these brands is successful not only because their suite of products is fantastic, but because they truly understand their customers’ needs and priorities.
You can reach the same success if you do the work to understand your customers! Whether your goal is to build your platform, grow your thought-leadership, or sell your product or service, getting to know your customers is the difference between increasing your visibility (and therefore, your revenue) and staying stagnant.
As the founder of TenXPR, an agency that specializes in broadcast PR, I’ve seen both scenarios play out for the dozens and dozens of experts, entrepreneurs, and brands that I’ve worked with over the past 20+ years. One fact is certain: there is a stark difference between those who have a clear understanding of their target audience (as we like to call it in the PR industry) and those who do not.
Whether this is your first time giving thought to your audience or if you’re curious if your existing offering, message, or brand is reaching the right people, my tips in this article will help you get started. Follow these three steps and you’re on your way!
Step 1 – Identify who your target audience is.
While it might seem obvious to target a broad audience at first, think again. Everyone has unique needs, priorities, and preferences based on their lifestyle, and because of that, there is a market for everything. That means your audience is out there! So, how can you figure out who they are?
Start by asking yourself personal questions about them to help you narrow it down. To help you get started, here are three universal questions that most PR and marketing experts like to ask in their audience exploration:
- How old are they?
- How do they identify?
- What is their income? Are they willing to spend a little more money or do they opt for more budget-friendly products and services?
- What is important to them? What are their interests?
- What are their pain points?
The bottom line? There is a market for everything – your audience is out there! After this exercise, you might be surprised to discover that your target audience is actually not who you thought them to be all along – and that’s OK! That’s what this exercise is for.
Step 2 – Figure out where they spend their time.
Narrowing down who your target audience is will bring you to the next step – identifying where your audience consumes their information. Understanding this piece opens the door to reaching them exactly where they are.
It’s also important to note that everyone consumes their information in different ways. In our growing digital world, streaming platforms such as Cheddar have become increasingly popular, especially among Gen Zers. At the same time, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are still consuming their information on TV. Millennials are gravitating toward both.
Step 3 – Explore what type of content resonates with them.
Now that you know where your audience spends their time and how they consume their information, the last step is tailoring your message to your audience to reach them on a personal level. This is a crucial step in understanding your audience, and one that if ignored can very quickly put you down a path to failure. In fact, studies have shown that 80% of content is targeted at the wrong audience. If you followed Step 1, you’ll be able to avoid this common mistake.
Another area where many experts, entrepreneurs, and companies fail to resonate with their audience is their lack of authenticity – and consumers agree. Nearly 90% of consumers say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding what brands they like and support. To ensure your message is authentic, make it as personal as possible. I’ve talked about incorporating a human element into your message by sharing personal stories and experiences that your audience can relate to. Try this tip, and utilize the answers to your questions in Step 1 to help guide you.
Being vulnerable is being human. That alone has the power to form an unforgettable connection between you and your audience.