Does Your Target Audience Even Exist?

Remember when you were a kid and you had different ways of talking to friends and parents? Ever make the mistake of talking to dear old mom or dad like a mate? “Linda, listen…”

You probably didn’t turn into a viral sensation, and it’s more likely you experienced a burning sensation on your backside instead. Well, your brand might be getting a hiding for the exact same reason – you’re appealing to the wrong target audience.

 

Your target audience is the group of people you are selling to, and thanks to data analytics you can now discover exactly who that is. It’s one of the first things we do for our clients – developing custom buyer personas to guide effective content strategies that target and draw the kind of viewership that gets results. The only problem is that there a lot of brands out there who aren’t doing their homework. “Hipsters are big now, aren’t they? We’ll just target them.” Actually no, they’re not. In fact, it turns out many of the people you’re targeting don’t really exist as a viable audience:

 

Tech-geeks

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In May each year, the world celebrates Geek Pride day and we urge you not to use this as an opportunity to punt your gizmos and gadgets. While tech geeks are hardly a fictional species, you don’t really want to be marketing to someone who can pick out your shortfalls from a mile away, do you?

 

Marketing is about highlighting what features of your product will appeal most to your audience, and unless your product has the best specs from processor to refresh rate and more, the tech-geek target market isn’t going to get you anywhere. If you must take a tech-approach, there’s no reason you can’t target the greater public. Devices and apps have become a staple for just about everyone and their grandmother. You just need to figure out which of those people would most likely find your product useful.

 

Health-nuts

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The buzz about the banting diet may have caused the prices of cauliflower to sky-rocket, but that ship has since sailed in a big way. Food-conscious fundis have worked out that just because it’s “banting-friendly” and gluten free, doesn’t mean it’s not packed with sugar. Organic labels are looked on with suspicion, now that word is out that they’re more likely to contain a small percentage of chemicals than non-organic, all natural labelled products. And everyone is sick of hearing about juicing.

 

Again, stop marketing to stereotypes and look for your real buyer. Moms who don’t have time to pack healthy lunches for the kids? Diabetics? Whatever the case, most ineffective target groups are ineffective because they are too broad… except for hipsters, that is.

 

Hipsters

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The hipster is the ultimate fool’s gold of marketing. Even though the fall of hipsterdom has been getting attention since the previous decade, brands are still targeting this demographic like moustachioed men in lumberjack garb are lining up around the block for a product that will make them look or feel even less mainstream. Oh wait, but there’s a line? If it’s not mainstream, why is there a line?

 

The problem with marketing to hipsters is that it’s the fastest way to get them to not buy your product. They don’t like that society has put them in a neat little box with a marketing strategy attached. So, don’t market to hipsters, okay? They don’t like it.

 

They do love coffee, barbershops and tech, but if you sell any of those things, they’ve already found/invented a product much cooler than yours. Don’t worry though, they won’t tell anyone.

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