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Marketing Advice 101: Know Your Audience


Marketing Advice 101: Know Your Audience

It was the great philosopher Aristotle who first ruminated on the importance of connecting to one’s audience in order to communicate effectively. The art of persuasion, according to “Aristotle’s Rhetoric,” is reliant upon knowing what will resonate with your target audience—and how that messaging can best be delivered—in order to have an impact.

His main three pillars of persuasion: logos (thinking/logic), ethos (ethics/trust) and pathos (emotion), including a fourth, kairos (timing), remain today as the underpinning of successful advertising and marketing. In other words, to affect your bottom line, you’ve got to know your audience.

Do you know to whom you are marketing? Knowing your audience is critical for your business.

Being able to adapt your messaging—in terms of content, voice and tone—to address the main concerns of YOUR target audience means you can appeal to them in a way that connects. The better you understand your target market, the more you’ll be able to focus your ads and reach the audience most likely to convert into customers.

Armed with an informed sense of your customers’ needs, concerns and context will enable you to put together a persuasive message that speaks to their specific circumstances. What are the benefits? You get more leads. You get more customers. You get more referrals.

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Strategies to get to know your audience

Audience analysis is basically a means by which you gather and interpret information about the recipients of your messaging. Then, with that knowledge, you can adapt to their specific interests, attitudes, beliefs, level of understanding, and even the medium that is most likely to “speak” to them.

Developing a clear understanding of your target audience will ultimately inform all aspects of your marketing strategy. At the heart of any successful campaign is the act of identifying the variables that best characterize your ideal customers, whether they be geographic, demographic or psychographic considerations, to name a few. 

Here are some steps you can take:

  • Do advance research by reviewing current data and analytics.
  • Examine previous successes that have worked with your target audience.
  • Look at what’s working or not working for your competition.
  • Examine previous successes that have worked with your target audience.
  • Create a buyer persona. (Marketers who use personas achieve 73% higher conversions, according to Aberdeen Research). 
  • Identify influencers of your target audience and use that as a vehicle for your messaging. 
  • Get to know your clients personally, such as on social media platforms and through virtual events (and in-person when it’s safe to do so).
  • Monitor reader comments and engagements.
  • Conduct surveys. 
  • Experiment with content and updates to your products and services.

Get the results you’re looking to reach.

The more you understand your audience, the more powerful your search engine optimization (SEO) and other marketing efforts will become. Once you can hone in on your target audience’s general personality traits, interests, values and opinions, you will be much more agile when it comes to creating an accurate list of topics and keywords to find (and persuade) your audience. In this respect, you can create a great user experience and craft just the right message so that your audience not only takes notice, but takes action. 

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Trust Aristotle…the original “ad man.”

While getting to know your audience isn’t always a simple process, it IS a necessary one. If you make the time and effort, you will be able to share content that resonates. By doing so, you will increase your opportunity to create products or services that your target customers want to buy, all the while building a base of loyal, long-term advocates of your brand.