Think Different About Your Customers

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Target marketing” may be a suitable term for marketers to use among themselves, but consumer groups should never be thought of merely as “targets,” as the ultimate focus of this campaign or that marketing effort. Consumers are people. Living, breathing, emotional people. You’ll be wiser to identify and target the most significant common emotions of the group – their “hot buttons” – than to target consumers as a group.

Splitting hairs? Not really. One of the most effective ways to succeed at target marketing is to first develop a single composite image to represent your targeted group. Create one mental image, a make-believe individual – gender often doesn’t matter – who is truly representative of the consumers you’re targeting. That done, focus all your efforts on convincing that composite individual to do what it is you want the members of the group to do.

Create your message, your copy, the content of your marketing effort as if it’s a one-on-one communication between the personality – the personification, if you prefer – of your company, product or service and that composite “person” you’ve determined embodies the traits, characteristics – yes, and the emotions – of the group you want to motivate.

No marketer worth his or her salt has ever written a sales letter that includes “y’all.” The word of choice, the key to creating a “tie” between writer and potential buyer is “you.” It’s a word indicative that the communication – radio or TV spot, telemarketing script, newspaper or magazine ad, even direct mail piece – is one-on-one, aimed directly at the individual listener, viewer or reader.

To be successful that communication piece, whatever it may be, must touch as many of the “hot buttons” common within the group as you were able to identify and embody in the composite individual you created, that “person” with whom you’re now communicating.

Please notice that I said “with whom,” not “to whom.” Your communication should not be a monologue that talks to someone. You should be talking with them, creating a feeling of dialogue, a sensation that, while they obviously can’t exercise it, they should certainly be able to sense in your communication.


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