Audience-led Marketing, Always – 5 Questions To Get You There

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Recently, I was asked in an interview scenario: If given $100, how would I split the budget spend between traditional/print media versus digital media?

before I can even answer how I would split the budget spend, I must first determine what the objectives were and, perhaps more importantly, who the audience was. Only once you’ve figured those questions out can you then determine your media mix. Otherwise, there is no point determining beforehand whether you would leverage one media over another.

You must know your objective(s) – which I believe is ultimately influenced by your audience.

It reminded me of this Fast Company article, “5 Questions All Marketers Need To Ask Themselves” I just read.

I especially loved this:

Often, businesses market themselves without the prospect in mind. But successful marketers align all their marketing efforts with a prospect narrative. Creating a prospect narrative is an easy and powerful way to put yourself into your prospect’s shoes–and ultimately increase the effectiveness of your marketing.

The article then goes on to propose five questions marketers must ask themselves to help them better align with their audiences. I think they are great checkpoints to keep us grounded in perspectives of our audience:

  1. What is your customer doing during his day?
    Most organizations create their marketing materials without considering what the potential customer will be doing when he receives a marketing message. People are busier than they have ever been. In fact, they are spending over a quarter of their day just responding to emails. In order for your campaign to break through the clutter, you must consider how the person you are trying to reach is spending his time.
  2. What is keeping her up at night?
    Usually, a company centers the majority of its marketing efforts around the company itself or the features and benefits of a specific product. However, no one cares about your company. All they care about are the issues they are dealing with right then and there. What are the challenges that your potential user takes home with her each night? If you want your marketing to elicit a particular behavior, then spend some time matching your message to the challenges your audience cares most about.
  3. What will catch his attention?
    Most organizations are so focused on broadcasting how great they are that they don’t think about what will most effectively catch people’s attention. Most commercials, for example, are generic and not memorable, so in order for yours to stand out, you need to develop a message that is so appealing or jarring to your audience that he has no choice but to react to it.
  4. What action will she most likely take?
    So many marketing campaigns are solely focused on increasing awareness of an organization, rather than encouraging someone to take some action. This is like burning cash. Think about what action someone would most realistically take after absorbing your message. Would she most likely go to a website, send a text, pick up the phone, or find you on Twitter? Once you know which medium the person is most likely to use, then you can develop a call-to-action that aligns with it.
  5. How will you keep him engaged?
    Rarely do companies develop marketing campaigns that create long-term engagement. However, those that do receive dividends over and over again, all from that initial investment. Therefore, the question great marketers want to answer is: What are realistic ways to engage him in the long run? This will be the difference between developing a one-time customer and a long-term fan.

Honestly, how many times have you actually asked these questions in the marketing situation room/meeting? When was the last time?

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