Want to Excel at Generating Response From Your Market? Focus!

Client question: “What’s the best way to communicate with the under-35 market?”

It’s a legitimate question and certainly marketers need to think carefully about how they will communicate with their market, recognizing that markets are different. The only problem with this question (and it’s one that most marketers ask in one form or another) is that it doesn’t go far enough to identify a specific market focus. The group of individuals who are under 35 is a very, very broad group, after all. What is the likelihood that there would be a single, “best” communication strategy for them?

When it comes to targeting marketing messages, the advice I offer, regardless of what you are attempting to sell or what response you are attempting to attain, is to be as focused and narrow as possible in terms of segmenting the target group.

In this case, under 35 is still a pretty broad demographic–to be most effective you would want to as narrowly as possible define additional attributes of your target audience that might include such things as¬†geography, income levels, profession/occupation, hobbies, purchase behaviors and habits, etc. Those specific attributes then help you to both select appropriate communication tools and create compelling messages.

Lifestyle/family issues and profession likely come into play for your audience. For instance, an under 35 audience may include many young parents. Consider, for example, the meeting industry. ¬†Those in the 35 and under category may have young families and may be drawn to facilities that offer “family-friendly activities.” On the flip side, because they may have young families they may yearn for an adult getaway. Effective meeting planners would need to determine which was most likely based on their audience and what they know about that audience and its preferences.

Once you’ve narrowed a specific target audience, your next step is to select the communication tools that are most likely to reach that audience. But, be careful here about

making assumptions, particularly with young or “older” audiences about their use of various communication tools–for instance, social media. This use isn’t, necessarily, driven by age. Younger people, contrary to popular wisdom, are not necessarily more engaged with social media (or with specific tools you’re considering) than older audiences. This use, like interactions with other communication media, will also vary by education level, interests, income and profession. For instance, if your audience consists of a lot of young mothers, Facebook might be a good communication tool. However, if you’re targeting younger audiences, recent research suggests they are leaving Facebook in favor of newer tools like Instagram.

Profession will also drive the use of technology for communication. Construction workers, for instance, may not be highly engaged on social media. Technology professionals probably are.

The bottom line IMO, narrow your audience as precisely as you can and take steps to research and evaluate that audience’s values and preferences–don’t make assumptions. If you find your focus, then the process of selecting communication tools and creating messages that will lead to some desired action will definitely be boosted.

Recommended Reading:

The New Rules of Marketing and PR

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