It’s true. Research is the key to any good marketing initiative. Without it, you could have the greatest invention in the world, but if you can’t connect with your audience, your efforts will be useless. And how do you know what type of messaging will work on your audience? Research.
"You need to know who..."
Before you start any marketing or advertising effort, you need to know who you’re talking to and what types of messages will resonate with them. For example, if you want to target women age 25-35 who live in large metropolitan areas, your first step should be to find out what these women like, where they go online and in real life, what interests they share, and what problems they face. The best way to do this? Ask them. Surveys, polls, and focus groups provide invaluable information that can help you see how your target audience thinks, the issues that are most important to them, and the best way to connect with them.
Another way to hone in on your target market is by using demographics. In the example above, we can make a few generalizations right away. If a woman is aged 25-35 living in a city, you can expect that she has a full-time job, she probably has a college education, and that she pays a higher rent than someone living in a rural community. If you’re targeting people in a specific city, you can also use the U.S. Census to find even more information about ethnicity, level of education, level of income, and the number of people per household. When you combine this information with the data you accumulated from listening to your consumers, you can create a profile of your ideal customer.
Some people think using their intuition is the best tool when creating a marketing initiative. Unfortunately, that just isn’t true. In fact, using ideas you believe are accurate for your marketing campaign without having any evidence to back it up can be a death sentence for your product or service. Just last week, Peloton felt the wrath of their consumers when their holiday ad missed the mark. Instead of adding value, the brand’s stock value plummeted, and people took to social media to badmouth the brand.
Some felt the ad was just fine...unfortunately, a majority did not.
If you want to form a real, long-lasting connection with your consumers, dig into the data before you start working on any creative. Then, when you get started, you’ll already know what appeals to your audience so you can create a strong message that makes them feel like your brand understands them on a personal level.