Marketing Mistake #8: Not focusing on your key audiences

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The mistake: Not focusing your strategy, message and communication style on the audiences you need to reach.

Fact:

Every business must understand how to target their marketing to the right audiences in order to be successful. It’s easy to be too broad and try to be all things to all people—which costs more and yields a lower response. You’ll see better results when you narrow your focus.

Where do you start? Identify your best customers or buyers first, as the model for those you seek to reach. Who are they? Why do they choose you over the competition? What do they tell you about their experience with your organization, products or services? Look at demographics but also look carefully at lifestyle, the environment in which they live, how they communicate and what purchases they make or services they use. To put it bluntly, put yourself in their underwear.

Once you have a solid picture of the audiences that are vital to the success of your organization—which could be referral sources, or retail buyers, or the parents of students you’re trying to enroll—you’ll be able to understand from their point of view why they should pay attention to your message, your products and services.

Attracting the right audiences then compelling them to respond, inquire, refer, buy or enroll are the results every business owner, manager or marketer expects from their marketing program. The more response the better. Yet many of those responsible for designing and managing marketing programs are struggling with the proliferation of media choices, the challenges of communicating clearly and the continual shifting of the economy, audience perspectives and marketing opportunities.

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