A tried-and-true basis for successful marketing is ‘understanding’ your target market. Typically speaking, if you can think like someone you can effectively sell to that person. By studying a ‘person’ from your target market, whether it is yourself, a friend, or someone from a reliable online source, your marketing efforts will yield positive results.
For example, take an emerging fashion company that is trying to gain a following. This company’s target market is 17-30 year old females (which I fit into perfectly). Because of this, I can now examine how similar companies have marketed their products to someone in this age group (like me) and evaluate what works and what doesn’t work, by using myself as an example.
Things I noticed about myself and how I respond to marketing efforts that are aimed at me include:
1. Do I typically click on links that are fed to me through a company’s Instagram post? Never.
2. Do I often get sucked in to a marketing email blast if the subject line is catchy and lures me in? Yes, annoyingly often.
3. Do I follow or buy from companies who overdo it on social media by posting too often or publishing what I feel is ‘low quality content’? No.
4. Do I get lured in to buy something if the product is talked about in a blog post, allowing me to create a positive narrative surrounding the product in my head? YES.
It is crucial to think about every marketing message your company produces prior to the message’s launch. A failed marketing message can be catastrophic to your company’s image and mission.
So, you’re not a part of your company’s target market? Although it may be more difficult from a simplicity standpoint, understanding your target market and using inside knowledge to do so is still within reach.
The first option is to find secondary research on your target market and study these findings often. Understand exactly who your company’s target market is, and what they positively and negatively respond to. The more tangible and easy to understand these external findings are, the more helpful they will be to you now and in the future.
The second option is to find a member of your target market and use them as a test subject for your proposed marketing tactics. For example, you are marketing a product to older adults ages 65+. Meeting with someone in this age group, and discussing your proposed marketing tactics for this product will benefit you with honest and unedited opinions, saving you time and your company money! Many companies participate in this type of marketing prior to a product launch to gain ‘buyer insight’ prior to rolling out their marketing campaign.
Although seeking out real human experiences may seem complicated and out of the scope of your job description, by doing so will help maximize your marketing strategy, making your work more productive!