Two People Who Aren’t Your Marketing’s Target Audience

One of the cardinal rules of marketing strategy is setting a clear definition of your key publics. Your campaign efforts are often only as good as the people you can make sure are aware of you, convince of your beliefs, or activate to take action.
In a recent turn as a lecturing college professor, I had a fun unit dedicated to the basics of marketing strategy. Following the slides, the weekly assignment involved a simple assessment about this video:

The basics of that assignment were all very subjective – things like “determine what type of goal the advertisement was set to achieve,” or “discuss a creative idea that you could also execute as a tactic.” Within that quiz, there was one question that had a lot of right answers, but officially only one wrong answer.
“Who is the key public for this audience?”
The wrong answer? “Everyone.”
I was generous with giving credit for anything but that response. In fact, that’s always the wrong answer when determining stakeholders. It was a lesson to undergrads who hoped to join the field someday because it’s an important reality of the work we do.
So, let’s talk about why we can categorically say that in no situation is your public everyone. It comes down to the fact that there are always at least two types of people who you will never reach, convince, or convert.
The first is actually good news — there are members of your community who are so far along the ladder of engagement that there’s just nowhere else for them to go. A family who’s already had three children born in your regional center? They’re amazing advocates already for you, but they no longer are a marketing target for you (at least for a new parent campaign).
What about the other side of the equation? Well, there are people who you can simply never reach. Maybe there’s a perfect demographic match for your sports injury service line effort who will never cross to your side of town because of a bad former job or even a bad dating memory.
When it comes to Snuggies, there are lots of people who could be the target audience. But not everyone is in the market for a blanket with sleeves; on the other hand, who really needs more than one? Right?

Setting the Right Audience

How do you find the audience who will move the needle for you in the right direction? The good news is that it’s a lot less Ouija board and a lot more founded in tried-and-true market research and audience discovery. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a project around here at Revive that doesn’t start with a comprehensive look at internal and external data points that can tell us a lot about where to begin. Let us know if we can help - no Snuggies required.

March 8, 2019
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