From the Mouth of a Marketer: Do You Know Who You’re Marketing To?

marketing personasDo you know if you are reaching your target audience?

Better yet, have you defined a target audience or personas for your brand?

If you don’t have answers to these types of questions, It’s likely your message isn’t being well-received, if at all. This translates to wasted time and money, but fortunately, there are three steps to make sure you are making the most of your marketing efforts. The examples given are hospitality-focused, but the concepts are general and can be applied to any brand or business.

They say, when you market to everyone, you’re marketing to no one. You have to define who you’re marketing to first, in order to set yourself up for success.

Step 1: Define Your Audience

When defining your target audience, think demographics: age, gender, geographic region, income level, etc. By doing this, you can create compelling copy that directly speaks to your defined persona rather than implementing an advertising message which may not resonate.

While the more the merrier seems like a good marketing plan, it’s important to know who your “ideal” customer is. Is it someone on a budget planning trips for her family? Is it a businessman who requires first class accommodations? Two different personas require two different messages. After all, you’re not likely to reach a mom with two young kids looking to vacation for under $500 by targeting her with messages promoting 5-star dinners and luxury suites.

The message you craft for a specific campaign doesn’t mean it has to exclude everyone outside your defined personas from ever becoming a customer. It simply provides a good foundation to get closer to your target(s).

Step 2: On-The-Mark Messaging

The messages you send and how you send them are of equal importance. Once you have defined your target audience, focus your marketing message directly to your chosen audience.

Consider these questions:

  • Where does your audience like to receive their content?
  • Where do they engage most?
  • What kind of content do they respond best to?

Adjust your message according to where your audience is and what they want to see for the best opportunity for conversion.

For example, Luxury Hotel has seen a spike in Facebook engagement by 50%, but there has been no significant increase in conversions. The audience is there, but now they need a reason to convert. Enter: on-the-mark messaging that requests the audience to take action. Host a giveaway, promote an offer, or introduce new hotel amenities to boost results.

Step 3: Measure Results and Optimize

Do you want to increase your social media audience? Do you want more newsletter signups? There are common goals for each campaign, such as engagement level, but also set targeted results, which can truly show if your campaign was a success and reveal areas which can be improved for next time. Understand which KPIs are most valuable for each given campaign.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hit every goal every time. Analyze campaign results to see where adjustments can be made rather than automatically starting from scratch. It may be as simple as changing the publishing time. Maybe you’ve scheduled content to be published in the morning, but see your audience engages most in the evening, adjust the schedule accordingly and measure results again.

You can track consumer interaction by analyzing insights reports (measure, test, optimize) and by listening to what they’re saying on review sites, social media channels, and through direct communication. If your message isn’t aligned to their expectations, you’ll most likely hear about it in some way.

Make The Connection

Once you have a solid grasp of who you’re marketing to, it becomes easier to introduce creative ways to get your target audience interested in your brand and eventually, become loyal to it. Like any relationship, the one between brands and consumers is one that takes time to develop and requires constant attention in order for there to be long-term benefits on both sides.

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