Getting to Know Your Customers

No matter what your business, in order to entice consumers to buy your products or your services, you need to understand them first. Understanding their needs will help you in crafting a message that they can relate to.

Some preliminary research will help paint a clearer picture of your target audience. Knowing where your audience hangs out, what their preferences are – both visually and verbally – and whom they relate to, all serve to help prospects connect with your brand.

It’s not rocket science. And while different target markets respond differently to different messaging and varying media mixes, connecting with your audience on an emotional level first – especially with Baby Boomers and Gen Xers – is key to the success of your advertising and marketing program. Once that emotional connection is made, you can then offer all the reasons why a prospect should choose you over the competition.

Real Estate
Despite the ups and downs of the real estate industry over the past 5 years and the focus on the bottom line, purchasing a home is still about purchasing a dream. Gone, for the most part, are the investors who artificially inflated home prices. Today’s buyers are single moms, young families and retirees searching for that perfect second home. To live in. Not to flip for a tidy profit. What appeals to them? Of course, price is important but what’s equally important is the dream of home ownership. Communicate the dream, back up the dream with reasons to buy and you’ll make the sale.

Hospitality & Tourism
People take vacations because they want to relax, reconnect (with their spouse, their family or their friends) and generally just have fun. If your resort has 7 pools, three waterfalls, an executive golf course and newly renovated rooms, that’s all great but they don’t provide an emotional connection. They are reasons why your prospect might choose you over your competition, but they are secondary elements to the emotional connection you must first forge. The emotional connection comes in the form of a compelling reason to vacation with you: love renewed, stress removed or hard work rewarded.

Knowing your target market and in the retail industry can make or break an advertising campaign. High-end brands like Channel and Burberry sell exclusivity and luxury in their ads, which is exactly the customer they seek to attract. Kohl’s, Bealls, WalMart and Target are targeting markets that value price wrapped within a sense of style. Therefore, their messaging has a completely different look and feel to it over that of luxury brands. And while price leads the charge with these folks, it’s positioned in a manner designed to engage them emotionally as well.

Not sure who your target market is? Social media, on-line surveys, focus groups and paid research can help.