For every MARKETING or ADVERTISING strategy lies a TARGET AUDIENCE. At some point in time, that TARGET AUDIENCE will have a decision to make. Your PITCH, IDEA or OFFER was a SUCCESS or it was not a SUCCESS. Simple as that. For the majority of MARKETING or ADVERTISING professionals, I'm sure you can remember a time where it seemed as if your AUDIENCE was seconds away from buying-in to your IDEA, PITCH or OFFER then all of a sudden, they didn't. They balked. Your AUDIENCE (for whatever reason) decided not to buy-in to your BRAND, PRODUCT or SERVICE. But why?
Let's be super cliche for a second and GOOGLE the word "BALK" or "BALKING." I'll be nice and do it for you...
"HESITATE" or "UNWILLING TO ACCEPT" stand out to me when I first look at this definition and both with good reason. In an ideal ADVERTISING or MARKETING world, all campaigns would reach your perfect customer or TARGET AUDIENCE with no hiccups or road bumps along the way. If only it were that easy.
There is a reason that X didn't happen, just like there is a reason that Y and Z did happen. That HESITATION or UNWILLINGNESS TO ACCEPT your IDEA, PITCH or OFFER came from somewhere, now find it...
WHAT IS MY AUDIENCE'S PROBLEM?
First and foremost, who the heck is your AUDIENCE? Defining your TARGET AUDIENCE is numero uno in finding your AUDIENCE'S PROBLEMS - NEEDS - WANTS. If you don't know your AUDIENCE how will you know what they want and how to solve that problem or need. The simple demographic fields of only Gender, Age, and Location aren't cutting it these days. There is such a SPECIFIC CONSUMER in today's world and you must find them.
Make it CRYSTAL CLEAR the IDEA, PITCH or OFFER you are PROPOSING. It would be a real shame if your AUDIENCE was right at your front door only to walk away because of the uncertainty of what it is you are PROPOSING. Establishing that you are fully aware of the specific PROBLEMS - NEEDS - WANTS of your TARGET AUDIENCE and it is your #1 GOAL to solve that.
With so much noise in the world today it can be hard to LISTEN to your AUDIENCE at times. Hearing what your AUDIENCE has to say and then acting on it is one of the best MARKETING moves you can make. I don't mean just sit back and read comments or complaints all day either, JOIN THE PARTY -
- Conduct a SURVEY for CUSTOMER FEEDBACK
- Join DISCUSSIONS on TOPICS in your INDUSTRY on REDDIT.
- Be CREATIVE!
HOW WILL I REACH MY AUDIENCE
Boy do MARKETING and ADVERTISING professionals have it easier than their mentors had it in the past. The options and choices you have to reach your TARGET AUDIENCE goes back to knowing your AUDIENCE in the first place. Trying to reach a 65+ Female demographic does not need a strong SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING presence in comparison to a Millennial TARGET AUDIENCE where it is a must.
1.) SOCIAL MEDIA - If you are going to use Social Media Marketing as an avenue in your marketing/advertising, make sure to choose the appropriate platform for your audience. Just because Snapchat or Instagram are good for one audience, doesn't mean that is your audience.
2.) DIRECT MAIL - Whether postal marketing, email marketing or even SMS and cell phone marketing, incorporate data and analytics into your strategy. Don't work harder, work smarter.
3.) TRADE SHOWS/EVENTS - Displaying your idea, pitch or offer at trade shows or events is a great way to engage with your audience in a way most marketing professionals can't. Real life interaction with your target audience takes a large amount uncertainty or "balking" out of the picture.
4.) ADS/PROMOTIONS - Advertisements must be placed at the right spot at the right time or you could get a grumpy audience pretty quick. Just pick and chose your battles and know when and when not to slam your audience with one advertisement after another.
WHAT'S THE OTHER TEAM UP TO
Knowing your COMPETITION is just as important as knowing your TARGET AUDIENCE. Do they have a successful CONTENT MARKETING scheme you may be lacking? How about your WEBSITE and DIGITAL appeal? Looking at your competition from all angles with no bias approach can be very beneficial.
Swallow your pride every once in a while. It's ok if a BRAND or COMPETITOR of yours has a better MOBILE presence than you or twice as many TWITTER followers. Seeing the problem is step one. You can hang your head and pout about it or get to work and step your game up. Just because someone created a fancy new chair, doesn't mean you can't create a fancier, more comfortable chair.
DO NOT let your COMPETITION know something before you do. Stay up on current TRENDS and TOPICS in your INDUSTRY. Being aware of any changes as soon as they happen is key. I'm not talking just changes that directly affect you, but even changes to your competitors that may indirectly affect you or your means of MARKETING.
Trust me, we have all been there. Nothing seems to go accordingly when you need it to most, am I right? Don't get FRUSTRATED. Expect a bump in the road from time to time and learn to deal with it while staying professional at all times. Instead of wasting your time on the past, put your FOCUS and EFFORT on finding out why X didn't work and what you plan on doing to make Y work. Be fireproof. Don't let a failed CAMPAIGN or PROMOTION ruin your entire year.
In times of adversity, STAYING TRUE to yourself and where you come from is as important as the next move you make. BRAND LOYALTY does not come over night. It is earned through years of CONSISTENT VALUES displayed through an IDEA, PRODUCT or SERVICE. How you react when the going gets tough shows more than any MARKETING or ADVERTISING scheme ever could. It is not out of the norm for someone to settle for less quality if that means it is affiliated with a COMPANY or BRAND with higher MORALE and VALUES.