Understanding Your Audience (Part 3)

Last week, we looked at the Traditionalist and Baby Boomer Generations and what was important to them.  Keep these differences in mind when marketing to each group. For example, Youthfulness is important to Baby Boomers.  With this in mind, think of all the commercials you see that target the 50+ age group with health and beauty products, surgical and non-surgical procedures and diets…

And now, the next two groups of the consumer buying population:

Generation X (born 1964-1978)

This generation’s core values are:

A.  Independence

B.  Competence

C.  Results-driven

D.  Work/life balance

E.  Wants someone to “get to the point!”

F.  Can also be flexible and adaptive

In addition:

1.  They are deadline and goal oriented

2.  Appreciates feedback

3.  They like to have fun at their job and other activities

4.  They like up-to-date tools

5.  They choose a career for personal interest

6.  They want to be trusted

7.  They want to be shown respect

Millennial’s (born 1978-2000)

This generation’s core values are:

A.  Confidence

B.  Collaboration

C.  Talent

D.  Optimism

E.  Civic-mindedness

F.  Innovation

G.  Learning new skills

In addition:

1.   They place great emphasis on new skills

2.   They love diversity (lots of different perspectives)

3.   Likes to be mentored and coached

4.   Their work needs to have meaning

5.   Wants expectations made clear

6.   They need immediate feedback and ask for input

7.   They want others to be flexible

8.   They must have up-to-date tools (technology)

9.   They like situations that are more informal

10. They want information on demand

11. They love a challenge

12. They want to be shown respect

I hope you noticed that one of the things that is important to each generation is that, “They want to be shown respect.”  More later…


Understanding Your Audience (Part 2)

One of the most important things to consider when marketing your merchandise or service is your target audience’s age group.  For example, if you have a business that converts a standard bathtub into one that is a walk-in, your audience will not be 20 or 30-somethings.  However, you may market directly to an audience that is more mature or their children (possibly in their 40’s and 50’s) who may share this information with an elderly parent.

Below you will find two generations that are more mature in age:

Traditionalist (Born prior to 1946)

This generation’s core values are:

A.  Loyalty

B.  Dedication

C.  Sacrifice

D.  Respecter of Authority

E.  Compliance

F.  Hard-working

G.  Thriftiness and savings

In addition:

1.  Likes “that personal touch”

2.  They place an emphasis on security

3.  Gentle change is best for them

4.  Age = Authority

5.  Approaches new ideas with caution

6.  They want to be shown respect

Baby Boomer Generation (Born 1946-1964)

This generation’s core values are:

A.  Personal growth

B.  Youthfulness

C.  Equality

D.  Competition

E.  Reform

F.  Status

G.  Accomplishment

H.  Political correctness

I.  Ambition

In addition:

1.  Wants to know what you think

2.  Likes to follow the crowd

3.  Began the “politically correct” movement

4.  Within a marriage, both spouses generally work(ed)

5.  They like recognition

6.  They want to be shown respect

In my next posting, we will look at the core value of Generation X and the Millennial’s (or Gen. Y).  Stay tuned!

Understanding Your Audience

Do you know who your audience is for marketing purposes?  Your audience may be very broad or narrow.  The following general questions may help you “zero in on” those who may use your service and/or purchase your merchandise:

What types of services or merchandise may be marketed to a broad audience?

What types of services or merchandise may be marketed to a narrow audience?

Considering the categories above, in which does your service or merchandise fit and why?

While many services and merchandise may be marketing to a broad audience (things like food products [we all have to eat], roofing services [many of us own homes], etc.) the vast majority must be marketed to a narrow or targeted audience.  I learned, after wasting precious time, that effort to market or present my services to the wrong audience was not going to help me.

Who is your audience?

One very important thing about your audience I want you to consider is their age range.  Depending on the generation in which they fit, you must market to them in different ways.  In my next posting, I will include information on the 4-Generations, that are spending money, you may find interesting.

Do You Have a Vision?

Do you have a vision for your business?  Have you written it out?  Your vision for the business is different from the mission statement in that it is your dream for the business.

Your vision is not shared with everyone.  The people who are interested in and excited about your vision are:

1.  Your family

2.  Your employees (make sure your employees and what you want for            their future is in your vision)

3.  Your banker

4.  Your strategic business partners

5.  Anyone else who may view your business plan

The key word is “dream”.  You wouldn’t tell just anyone about the strange dream you had last night (hopefully!)  Dreams are shared with people who are close to us; those we have allowed to get close to us. It is the same with your vision.  Believe it or not, there are people out there who don’t want you to succeed.  If those people are family and friends, you may not want to share your vision with them and, in some cases, you may even “fire” these people from the business-part of your life.  Share your vision and dreams with those who care and who are rooting for your success!

A Different Kind of Value

Stop and take a look at your business from someone else’s point of view.

Do you know what your customers/prospects think they are buying when they pull into your parking lot, walk through your doors, meet an employee, look over your materials, visit your website, see your advertising, meet you in person, call you on the phone, etc.?  What “feeling” are they going to walk away with after the sale?  After all, it is the “feeling” that they are really buying.  How good are you at predicting what those “feelings” will be and how your product (the business) as well as your merchandise will fulfill them?

Ask yourself: “What do I want my customers/prospects to feel when they have an encounter with my business?  What is the most important need that my product (the business) fulfills for them?  Why should they buy from me (what do I offer them that no one else does?)”

Identifying with your customer is not only important, it is crucial for the sustainment and growth of your business.