Know Thyself (and Thytarget)

You wouldn’t run into your childhood babysitter and start talking about the latest in video game technology, would you? She’s undoubtedly not the target demographic for that kind of a conversation. We see it every day. A company that’s too engulfed in perfecting their message that they’ve completely forgotten who they’re speaking to.


Marketing, at its core, is very simple. Every ad you read or commercial you watch, each time those shoes you’ve been thinking about splurging on crosses your news feed… It all boils down to the most basic form of human communication, a one on one conversation. The minute a marketing message loses that, it’s over. Think about your favorite ad campaign. It’s probably your favorite because the campaign touched upon your personal pain points, maybe it positioned you as a hero in your own imagination. No blind luck involved, that ad was aimed directly at you (and many others just like you.)


It’s easy to get wrapped up in the potential for huge reach or fast, sustainable growth. Companies built for long term success know how to strike a balance between messages that ignite new interest and excite their base.


How do you stay on track with your messaging? It’s easier than you think.


1.     Stay true to yourself.


Cliché, we know. Clichés are identified as such because they largely hold true.


a.     Why does my company exist?

b.     Why should people patronize my business?


These answers are, on the surface, pretty obvious. However, today’s consumer doesn’t make purchase decisions based on simple logic anymore. Where they spend their money is driven more and more by intrinsic motivators. Let’s reframe those questions…


a.     What problem does my company exist to solve?

b.     How will patronizing my business make my customer’s life better?


Once you’ve pinned down the answer to those new questions, your business has a message. Stick to it.


2.     Know your customer.


If at every networking meeting you were presented with a sheet of each person’s interests before you even said “Hello”, you’d probably be the life of the party. With the tools and data at your disposal in 2018, why are so few companies applying this information to their marketing strategy?


On social media, we can pinpoint the age, gender, location, and peak activity times for our audience. Through analytics tools, we can decipher what people are searching for when they find our business. Using old-school tactics like networking and focus groups, we can get even more precise.


3.     Talk to someone, not everyone.


Now we’ve got information at our disposal. We know who we’re talking to! Our babysitter, from earlier serves as a good example.


We know we’re talking to a 60-year-old woman who lives in our town. We know the best time to get our message to her is at 10am on weekdays and we know what she’s looking for.


Now imagine you approach this person in a social setting, you know the following:

1.     Her age, location, and peak times.

2.     What she’s looking for.

3.     What your company can do to solve her problem.

4.     How her life will be better as a result.


I think anyone could close that sale.




Corey Hardy