People don’t know us. They don’t know who we are or what we do. And it’s not been easy trying to reach them. When I do I feel like I’m talking at them, but don’t really have their attention. What are we not doing here? I’ve heard about target audience. Who are they and how do I reach them?
Thoughts of the Day: Good questions. Simply speaking, your target audience is not everyone. They are the people who want what you offer, so they’ll listen when you talk. So get ready to offer them something good. First, find out what’s their problem, then consider storytelling as a way to make your answer more memorable.
Of all the people in the world — 7.7 billion currently — any company’s client base (target audience) is a series of smaller subsets.
Figuring out who to reach and how is marketing. Defining your target market means making a list of the best customers – those you have and those you want. Then write down what makes them the best.
To help you with that, answer the following. Which clients:
- challenge us to do better?
- think we’re a part of each other’s success?
- care if we’re still doing future business?
- commit to securing a healthy future?
- are regular and consistent consumers of our goods or services?
- pay promptly, and which do not?
Once you’ve made your list, pick the clients that score highest in ALL categories. Step back and look at the demographics of this core group of customers. Find what they have in common. Look at company size, market, and geography. Consider the interests, opinions, income levels, gender, and age profiles of the decision-makers and influencers. Build a profile of the ideal buyer that takes this data into account.
Once you know who to target, identify what interests them most in relation to your company’s product or service.
Why your company? How does what’s important to them correlate with what’s important to your company? If you’re unsure, interview your best customers to better understand. Don’t just focus on what they get from your company. Reach back in time to before they knew about your company. Why did they first inquire, and why did they buy your company’s products or services? And how did that purchase help them to succeed?
Once you figure out the “why,” then it’s time to move on to how to get your message across.
In general, we human beings like stories. When offered a story, we tend to turn up our antennae and settle in to receive the information being passed to us. The brain consumes and remembers stories very differently from how it consumes and memorizes data. When hearing statistics, the likelihood of remembering that information is around 10% – 15%. When it comes to stories, some researchers maintain we’re seven times more likely to retain concepts and details.
Good storytelling includes intention and motivation.
By sharing a sequence of actions, including what drove the actions and the outcomes that resulted, the storyteller gets through to our brains in a way that data alone cannot. Storytelling helps people organize incoming information. It gives data context that the recipient can relate to. Stories are used by listeners and readers to adapt and apply information and outcomes to their own world of experiences. Storytelling also connects people like you to your target audience.
When stories include emotions, people tend to focus on what’s being conveyed in a way that yields higher levels of attention and understanding.
Listeners bond with the storyteller and with other listeners. Stories with emotion have been shown to cause people to be more trusting and open to ideas. And from openness and trust comes the opportunity to engage.