Not too long ago I gave a writing presentation to a room of athletic-clothing fashion designers. I started out asking them a seemingly simple question:
Who do you want wearing your clothes?
They looked around the room with darting eyes, sinking into their seats. One young woman bravely responded, “Everyone.”
This was the exact response I expected.
Indeed, from a business owner’s standpoint, if everyone is engaged in your product, then you are a success. But the truth is, not everyone is going to come to your gym, love your style of yoga or be comfortable in your see-through cropped workout pants. In order to connect your product with consumers who will buy, you have to have an extra firm grip on the kinds of people who would be attracted to your gym, studio, spa or clothing line.
So, in a world of 7 billion people, how do you figure out who is your target audience? Here are 4 tips from the marketing experts at Swoll Media.
We developed some direct mail campaigns for a boutique gym in Buffalo, NY. One of our strategies for figuring out our audience was to take a good long look at the folks working out in the gym, as well as at the client’s top competitors. Start off with what they look like and what they wear. Then let your imagination take over – what would they eat, drive or watch on TV? What would their goals be for the year? Create personas of your current and ideal customers in order to create messages that really resonate.
Go Where They Go
Are these folks on Facebook or Instagram? Do they shop at Whole Foods? Would they read Time Magazine or Yoga Journal? Find the real and digital places your target audience hangs out and insert your company and your message. Don’t be a billboard on the side of the road; be a conversation happening in the car.
Make Their Lives Better
Give them content that is meaningful. If you’re a new yoga studio, write a review on mats, then encourage new clients to come in and try the mats out for themselves. Maybe you’re a chiropractor looking to bring in new patients? Create diagrams about stretches that can help ease aches from sitting at a desk and drop them off at office buildings downtown. Give them information that helps them make choices and decisions that will improve their lives.
Be Easy to Find
Get a short and sweet URL for your website. Make sure all of your social media pages (and you better have a few!) have your company’s contact info in an easy-to-find spot. The fewer clicks users have to take, the less time they have to change their minds about purchasing your service or product.
Now, back to that conference room – when I pressed the designers to go down the rabbit hole of who, specifically, would want to wear their line, they surprised themselves with some pretty clever ideas.
Remember, the question is “who would,” not “who would you want.”
To engage your target audience, you have to do your research. You take your ideal and your current audience and you explore the space that exists between them. Examine how they interact with the world around them. Then go back to your message. Who is really receptive to your mission and is that a person someone who would actually walk in your door? Is it someone whose attention you even want to grab?
In my opinion, the only way to achieve marketing success, from creating a loyal client to helping heal someone’s ache and pains, is to craft a message that makes a connection. You have your service on one end and the audience on the other. The message that connects them relies on a full and flexible understanding both.