KNOW Your Customer
I am sure you have heard the question many times…Who is your target demographic? I would encourage you to contemplate, when you are asked that question, what is your ”go to” answer? A follow-up question usually is one that gets a lot of stutters as well as a good number of ummmm…errrrrr…ahhhhhs. That question is “How do you know?”
I have witnessed a lot of companies and entrepreneurs who simply guess what their target demographic is based on the quantity of products and/or services they are selling. Sure, there is a chance they could be right in their assumptions, but again… it is merely a guess and it can always change as your business evolves. In my opinion, to really know a true target demographic, it takes time, continuous research and HARD DATA, not guesses based on short-sighted sales and projections.
As an example, let’s look at a Facebook™. Facebook™ started in February 2004 and was originally designed exclusively for college students. It was required that one had a college email to even sign up. Then, in 2006 Facebook™ made a huge change and let everyone age 13 and older, with a valid email address, signup. Fast forward to 2015, and 65% of Facebook users are 35 or older, with the largest group of users being 45 to 54. Now Facebook™ is worth nearly $245 billion! What would have happened to Facebook™ if they would have stuck to marketing to only college students? With more than just a hunch, I would interject that they would have ended up like Myspace™.
KNOW your Customer’s Media Preference
Where do your customers hang out? What I mean by that, is what sort of media vehicles do they use? Do they watch a lot of television? If so, what kind of channels do they watch? Do they listen to the radio? If so, what kind of stations do they listen to? Are they heavy internet users? If so, what kind of websites do they visit? The questions collectively boil down to…where does your target market spend their time?
Just take a minute and think about it. What kind of ads are you hearing or seeing within the media vehicles you use? Almost every ad you hear or see is strategically placed in front of you multiple times a day. This is based off of THE RULE OF 7. This rule states that a consumer needs to hear or see an advertisement message at least 7 times before they’ll take action or before your business will be Top of Mind when they need a product or service like yours.
Top of Mind is when a brand or product comes into your mind when thinking of a particular industry. Try it for yourself! List the first 3 fast food places you can think of. Do you think that order just happened by chance? Probably not. I am sure those 3 companies have worked their tails off to be one of the first to come to mind and further roll of your tongue!
There are millions of ads out there and ads can get pretty expensive when you are trying to compete. That is why it is important that you be strategic when creating ad placement. This might sound silly, but allow me to pose a question: “Would you place an ad in the newspaper when you are a digital media company?” Sure you could get lucky, but why do this when you know your potential consumers spend a majority of their time online? Then consider, you, representing a digital media company decide to put an ad online. Would you want to place your ad on PBS.com? Again, you could lean on the odds of luck, but is that where your potential consumers are spending their time? DO YOUR RESEARCH, CREATE SURVEYS, and do WHATEVER IT TAKES to find out where your target market spends their time, what they take interest in and spend their money on, and be present there. TEST,TEST,TEST…and then TEST some more!