Let’s say you are a small business owner who offers an innovative product to prevent thinning hair. Who’s your audience?
“Everyone!” you quickly exclaim. Everyone wants thick, luxurious hair. And, so you proceed with your marketing plan to write general content you think will appeal to everyone.
Nothing happens. You get no visits to your website. No one comments on your blogs.
The next step you take is learning about the demographics of your group. Most of your buyers have been men, between the ages of 35 and 65. You change your strategy a bit, and begin marketing to this group. Your numbers improve a bit, but you know you aren’t reaching as many prospects as you should. Why?
You have ignored the psychographics of your audience. What makes them tick? What are their hobbies, interests, aspirations, goals?
If you dig deeper, you may find that people who are unhappy with thinning hair (amazingly, to some it doesn’t matter) tend to be accountants, attorneys, sales professionals and engineers. As a group, they may be socially conscious, like to eat healthful, mostly organic foods, want to ‘pay it forward’, spend more on clothing, take pricier vacations, and get more expensive haircuts.
Now, you have a much clearer picture of your target audience. Would you market to this group by telling them your product is a bargain? Probably not. They are looking for value, and don’t mind spending what it takes to get it. Based on the psychographic information (which, by the way is entirely fabricated for illustrative purposes), would you spend your marketing dollars trying to reach plumbers or cowboys? It might be a waste of money.
Based on your findings, you could easily write content to the upwardly mobile, socially conscious professional who has money to spend on aesthetics.
Here is a great example of a psychographic study by Hunch, a firm that extrapolates behavior information via human input combined with mathematical algorithms, which offers an analysis of the differences between the Mac and PC users: http://blog.hunch.com/?p=45344
Given the disparity between the groups, would you market to each in the same way? Of course not.
Does it take time to develop an understanding about your target audience? Yes. It starts with you. What is the personality of your product? Does your website reflect this? Put in the hours of research until you have identified your ideal prospect (you may have more than one). When you understand your audience as well as you understand your friends, you will be able to have a meaningful conversation with them via your marketing. Know how their behaviors and lifestyle drive their purchases.
By knowing your prospects inside and out, you will be able to truly connect with them. And this is the key to your success.