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Why knowing your target audience matters

YS Community
7th Dec 2016
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Is your business not doing well, despite your best efforts? Beware, it just might be a case of a bad marketing strategy. The world is full of firms that haven’t been able to reach their full potential because of marketing blunders. The most legendary marketing fails range from lack of planning to not having a website (yes, that’s true even in 2016!) to inadequate funding, the list can be endless. However, among the list of marketing blunders, one mistake that probably every other company makes at some point of their operations is misunderstanding their target audience.

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It is very important to gauge your audience right as it forms the foundation of your future strategy. If you have an idea about what your clientele wants or where to target, it becomes easier to chart out a trajectory for your marketing campaign. Read on to find out what you are not getting right about your audience.

No idea what competitors are doing

As firms don’t mind cutting corners to get ahead, you need to know what other firms are doing to market their products. There is a huge chance that whatever it is that you might be doing, your competitor might be doing it, too. The good news is, given the similar nature of firms, even small attempts can make a huge difference.

Any mention of the soft-drinks segment is incomplete without a mention of the rivalry between Pepsi and Coca Cola. In summer 2013, Coca Cola launched its ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, wherein the company’s iconic logo was replaced with 250 most popular names on the 20-ounce bottles. People were encouraged to share a Coke with friends and family. According to The Wall Street Journal, Coke’s sales jumped by two percent after the campaign was launched.

Not tracking results

Not tracking results is like shooting in the dark, hoping that you are aiming right. Be it keeping a tab on circulation figures or tracking conversions on pay per click ads, it is crucial to get an idea about what’s working for your business and what’s not. Never mind the wastage of resources, a marketing strategy needs to be aimed right in order to yield results.

Your target audience is either too wide

Chances are that your marketing strategy is aiming at everyone or even the wrong demographic. A firm needs to have an idea about what really motivates people or what makes them curious. Not everybody might like the same product, but customising your marketing campaign around the most likely consumer will help you.

Take the case of video streaming company Netflix, which has millennials hooked on to shows like House of Cards and Narcos. Knowing the role social media plays in the lives of these millennials, Netflix banks heavily on networking websites like Facebook and Twitter for advertising.

Data

Number crunching and analysing the data act as the backbone of a marketing campaign. A lot of business failures boil down to just incorrect data. As per a new research by Experian Data Quality, an average company loses around 12 percent of its bottom line because of inaccurate data. The loss of money notwithstanding, misleading inputs also have a detrimental effect on customer service.

You are making too many assumptions

Assuming too many things about your consumers might keep you away from reality. Assumptions are basically as good as taking a risk, they may not always pay. A good way to avoid this mistake is to take decisions backed by reason and evidence.

Timothy’s Coffee, a US brand, launched a campaign to increase its following on social media. Customers were given a free sample for following the company on Facebook. The company ran out of the free samples within three days. They ultimately had to send a mail that the offer was on a first-come-first-serve basis, but the damage was already done.

Marketing can be a tough nut to crack and there might be a few mistakes, but it doesn’t matter so long as you don’t stop revaluating your business model and make changes.

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