This article originally appeared on Robinia Creative.
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One of the primary questions of any marketing effort is, “Who is your ideal customer?” This is a fine question, for, if you do not see or understand or value your “target,” then how do you sight your scope to hit it? Although the surface of this question is firm, its core is a bit shaky …
In a 2014 Gallup poll, more than two-thirds of adults said they were not “engaged in work” and only 13% called themselves “engaged.”
What is the connection between your target audience and these numbers?
If your website’s language, marketing text, or emails are pointed toward selling to your industry and such industry’s “ideal customer,” then over two-thirds of your audience will become increasingly dissatisfied the more you market to them. Why? Because they don’t like their market … and your message is just another drum within the unending clamor that is their professional life.
Another quake that shakes this core is the argument that, if your marketing reminds your dissatisfied “target customers” of their needs and shortcomings, then your marketing makes them even further dissatisfied and distant. Tell your child, who hates baseball, that he is no good at baseball and needs to purchase additional coaching lessons with his allowence to occupy his summer evenings…
While you think you are helping; he thinks you are doing the opposite and I can guarantee he won’t play baseball for long …
Marketing is the art of providing solutions to people in need and part of that need is purpose, not just the relief of their boss’s pain. Market solutions that dissipate pain; yes, but do not forget about making your customers’ lives better by giving them interest, purpose, and hope.
For instance, don’t sell computer technology to folks who prefer typewriters. Sell more time with their kids; more time outside of work. Better yet, make your “ideal customers” laugh, challenge them, and become an ally in their arduous journey. Be the email in their Monday morning inbox that they look forward to. Carry their pack for a mile or two. Maybe, marketing can do more than make sales; Maybe, just maybe, marketing is friendship and its result is a very resilient symbiosis.
Marketing is not target-sighting and triggers. It’s partnership and the result is hope and a better tomorrow.