As a marketer, I have a certain level of curiosity about my client’s customers, and how to reach them effectively, how to reach their emotions, to shift their perceptions, to alter their behavior in a way that helps them make the decision to buy, to join, to attend, to engage in some way. That curiosity is at the heart of all of our engagements, and as a research-based marketing strategy purveyor, we get to indulge that curiosity on behalf of clients every day, and after some discussion realized that we were all grateful for that.
Knowing your audience thoroughly and as completely as you can is what makes for marketing success. It allows you to speak directly to them in your copy, it allows you to offer them products and services and opportunities that you KNOW they will appreciate and will feel entitled to obtain. Knowing what they like, when they are likely to like or need what you offer, knowing what stage of life they are currently inhabiting, and being able to predict how they will react to a given opportunity allows you to present thing you have to offer in a way that other retailers and marketers can’t touch. Good research will allow you to do that, no matter what you’re selling.
Many of our engagements involve outreach in the form of direct mail, which allows clients to reach a wide audience with customized offers or pricing or product choices created specifically for that individual or group of individuals, with remarkable success. Mail may seem antiquated in an era of high-speed social media, e-mail marketing, wireless mobile this and that, but really marketing is not about tools, its about connecting with the potential buyer in a way that influences them. It’s about influencing them to consider your products and services for purchase. Purchases make companies money, period. So really, all the online communities, all the digital social interaction, all the sharing of consumer information really doesn’t make anyone any money until someone actually buys something.
What it can do is help you know your audience better. All the data served up voluntarily on a daily basis can help you frame a profile of your audience that’s more true to life than what magazines they read or what type of car they drive, and certainly provide more recent information. The combination of social media data and transactional data from retailers can be an unbeatable combination for marketers hoping to know their audience better. The data is available, now you have to figure out how to actualize it, to monetize it, to turn data into dollars.
The more you know about that target segment and the individuals contained within it, the better you can offer them goods and services they will find appealing. If it’s appealing, they will find a reason to buy it. The simple formula goes: data > knowledge > strategic appeal > purchase > data . . . in a big circle. It’s a good formula to keep in mind, and it feeds into the whole idea of creating a community. What makes a community, in marketing parlance, is that you have a group of individuals who have a reason in common to repeatedly participate in a certain activity, be it buying, or discussing, or learning about or something involving what you have to offer. The “in common” part makes it efficient to reach them and binds them together. The “repeatedly” part is what connects you to the data acquisition formula, and what gives marketers the “in” to offer them things they find appealing over and over again.
The real moral of the story is that the better you know your audience, the better you can serve them and the better your marketing will be to them, which in turn adds to your ability to serve them. Go forth and gather data . . . you’ll be glad you indulged your curiosity!
If you found this information valuable, and would like to read more, be sure and pick up your copy of “The Marketing Doctor’s Survival Guide”. . .