Posts tagged audience

Choosing How to Serve Your Audience: Target

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Target has a series of smaller City Target stores–although this one in Westwood Village near UCLA doesn’t feel that much smaller–designed for urban customers. I think they’ve done a great job of identifying their market and structuring the store to meet the needs of their audiences. For example, there’s both a street entrance (shown above) and a parking-lot entrance.

So which one is this display closer to, and why?

Help Your Audience Recognize Themselves

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I’m a fan of green cleaning products, so the other day this line by Eco-Me caught my eye. The packaging is simple, but it says a lot about how they see their audience:

  • Gender-neutral: there are male and female names for different products, and the silhouettes match
  • DIY: The labels show how the products would actually be used
  • Family-oriented: “Dave” is holding a small child
  • Individual: Each product has a person’s name attached (and “Jack” seems like a bit of a grandstander, doesn’t he?)

They literally show their audience on the label, so it’s easy for someone to say, “That’s for me.” (Or not, because no product is for everyone.)

How do you identify your audience? And how does your product reflect that?

Glidden and Market Segmentation

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Now this is identifying and targeting an audience. My question: “Empty Nest” is common parlance–but does the term attract customers?

Market Segmentation

Market Segmentation

What Does Your Audience Want?

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What does your audience care about? In “Lost & Found: The Next Generation of Alumni Donors,” Fran Zablocki looks specifically at alumni and why many of them don’t give. But his suggestion–focus on what interests them, not on what you think is important–hold true far beyond the world of alumni associations and university development.

Brian Solis talks about how “Social media is about social science not technology.” He points out that too many marketers don’t ask their audience about what they want, or how they benefit–which means that too many marketers are making decisions based on guesswork, not data.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that tablet ownership among college students has more than tripled, and that in a sharp reversal of last year’s results, they prefer electronic texts to print editions. So is this a new trend? And how if you’re in the business of producing materials for college students, what do you do about it?

And it’s not just college students. Encyclopaedia Britannica is no more–at least, in its traditional print format. People want instantly updated information at their fingertips, and there’s no way to provide that in print–plus, at more than $1,300 a set, it’s something of an aspirational item. The only problem is that fewer and fewer people are aspiring to it.

So what does your audience want? And are you sure?

My Favorite Super Bowl Commercial

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So what’s my favorite Super Bowl commercial? It didn’t air this year. And it isn’t Apple’s “1984” commercial, which has never really grabbed me (in spite of my long-standing appreciation for their products). No, it’s something that talked about solving a problem, and did it with the kind of dry humor I like. If you remove the irony, the message could speak to Gen Y today. But the irony is what makes the spot work. And that’s very Gen X, which was definitely the audience they were trying to reach:

Shut Up

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Listen to your kids

Social media is not about “creating a narrative” and “delivering interesting stories to your audience.” And branding is not telling people what you stand for.

I take it back. Of course, both those are the case. But they’re far, far from the whole story. As marketers, we’ve always been able to create narratives, deliver interesting stories, and tell people what we stand for.

What social media does is let people tell us if we’re right. The best thing you can do with social media is not push, and not engage. It’s listen.

That doesn’t mean you don’t talk, that you don’t share content. Content is vital. Good content. But use that content as a starting point. How do people respond to it? How do they respond to you? And when do they initiate contact?

Your audience will tell you what your brand is. They’re the ones who see what you put out there, not what you think you put out there. They’ll tell you what that means. Listen to them.

Be their audience.

Photo by Bindaas Madhavi, via Flickr.

Depth or Breadth?

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Every crowd starts with one person.

Seth Godin has a great post about audience-building, but I think there’s another step. Seth says you can focus on the person you attract and try to hold their attention, or keep casting about for new attention, and both work.

I think he’s right, but I’d add this: if you (as busker) focus on that one person, someone else will be curious about why they’ve stopped, and they’ll stop. It’s easier to spot two stopped people than one, so more people will be curious.

So although I thought it was corny at the time, I guess maybe there’s some truth to the old Faberge Organics commercial:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgDxWNV4wWY&w=425&h=349]

Side note, in the Everything Old is New Again category: Check out that decades-old use of “organic” as a product label!

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