Reminder: Don’t forget your audience!!

Have you been engaging in every possible web marketing effort that you can? Video, Facebook, community sites, Twitter, mobile, blogging – our options are endless. And any of these methods could be beneficial to your business – as long as it’s reaching your target audience.

It’s easy to see all of these options (especially the free ones) and start to shift your efforts – especially when you see your competitors in all of these places. But at the end of the day we can’t forget why we’re working so hard. We want to be in front of our audience. And now that we’re at a mid-point in the year, it’s a great time to step back and assess your marketing mix to be sure it’s focused on the people you want to reach.

Do the research. If you’re already well aware of exactly who you want to target, then you’re halfway there. But many of us could still benefit from a quick re-evaluation/reminder of who we want to be in front of, especially if some of our goals have changed.

If you aren’t as confident, take the time to become sure before you launch your campaign. You can hire a consultant who will get comprehensive market research and demographic data and evaluate it all for you. If your budget won’t allow bringing in a third party, you can still find out who your target audience is and how they behave by surveying your current clients and prospects. Surveys can provide valuable information and best of all, they are inexpensive or free. Need help compiling an effective survey? There are a lot of great resources out there, like this one.

You can easily make a list of everything you’d love to know about your audience. Here are some ideas to get you started:

• Who are they?
• Where are they located?
• What are their goals?
• Where are they buying from and how often?
• Do they know who you are? If so, what do they think of you?

Once you are sure of who you want to get in front of, choose the marketing efforts that will best reach them. Facebook, for example, can be an effective and inexpensive way to reach your audience. Or it can use lots of your time and energy and leave you with a friend list that’s 1/20 of what you expected. Creating a mobile app can make it easy for people to reach you, just as long as your target audience is using them. (Find out by asking on your survey!) The bottom line – whatever you choose, make sure that the people you want to get in front of will see you.

Once you’ve chosen your marketing mix, tailor your efforts to attract the interest of your audience. Consider all of the variables that you can adjust, from design and visuals to copy. Also consider frequency with efforts such as email. Different audiences have different thresholds when it comes to frequency of contact. When re-designing your website, always keep in mind the point of view of your user, and be sure to conduct focus groups or surveys to confirm your decisions (or to show you what needs to be re-worked).

Keep that message clear and consistent across your entire campaign. You’ve got a lot to say and it can be easy to try to say it all at once. Condense it into a clear statement/phrase/theme that resonates with your audience and keep it going strong through all of your efforts. At any point in your campaign, your website, emails, Twitter page, etc. should all be basically saying the same thing. Remember – consistency is not only memorable, it’s key.

It might seem like Marketing 101, but too often marketers lose touch with their audience…we’ve all seen it. Identify your audience, learn how they think, and never forget it throughout your entire campaign. Your success will speak for itself. You know your audience does.

Where have you felt especially successful recently in reaching your audience?

Industrial Marketing and Sales Market Research Marketing, General