Who’s Your Target?

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Image by: timmonsandcompanyblog.com

I’ve been in forums where a speaker would pose the question, “Who is your target audience?”  Many times a business owner would immediately and proudly boast, “Everybody!”  Then they would go into a spill about how great their product or service is and how anyone could benefit from its use.  The speaker who seems intrigued and appreciative of their answer then breaks down all that is wrong.

It becomes apparent when a company doesn’t know who they’re targeting. Their marketing  efforts are sporadic and sends mixed messages.  A steakhouse isn’t geared toward vegetarians or a credit card company to someone that only uses cash.  Believe it or not, everyone is NOT your target market.  Knowing this is half the battle.  Now it’s time to get through the other half.

Businesses need to be clear and concise at who they are targeting.  How?  RESEARCH!  Know everything about your target audience–their location, current thoughts regarding your brand, what attracts them, their spending habits and your competition.  Once you know this, then you can ask yourself, “What would I want my target to think about my brand?”

The perception of minivans has been that they are vehicles for older “Soccer Moms” who are defined as “stay at home” moms that hand out bag lunches to the family as they walk out the door for work and school.  They also run shuttle service from school to practices and rehearsals.  One company reassessed this notion  and decided to challenge the perception.

In 2010 Toyota launched its Swagger Wagon campaign.  The approach was to make the Toyota Sienna minivan appealing to younger, more hip parents.  They target the younger generation of  “Soccer Moms” and wanted to make it cool to own a Sienna.  Toyota had a slew of commercials highlighting the vehicle features and how it compliments the family’s lifestyle.  They even had a Sienna Family rap video.

The success of this campaign went viral and people posted their remixed version of the song.   The commercials and song are funny, engaging and catchy.    They honed in on one particular audience and created a multimedia strategy that created a buzz and built up steam to popularity, even getting fan mail for the Sienna Family.

Get a clear understanding of your target audience, get to know them intimately, learn to speak their language then you will maximize your audience reach.

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