Top Mistakes In Advertising & How To Avoid Them: Part 3 of 10 Part Series Identify Your Target Group

Welcome along once again, I’m thrilled you’re able to join me for a few minutes and what is article number three of our series of ten, on the Top Ten Mistakes in Advertising and How to Fix Them.

As we witnessed in articles 1 & 2, we talked about testing and about the critical importance of identifying each and every ad you prepare. Those should be the foundation for everything that goes out to the marketplace.

One challenge that I’ve run into on a number of times is that my clients have considered themselves to be the target group. And while that may or may not be the case, in the majority you are selling a product or service to fix someone else’s problem, and your tastes as the product or service solution are probably really different from the recipient who needs your expertise, your product your service.

I had one client who was infamously attached to a particular media, and it’s a very fine media, but it was the only one he would use because it was the only one that he felt delivered the message that he would see.

My challenge to him was quite simply, Ian, please remember you are not the target audience for what we are trying to sell, and I applaud you for being so attached to this particular media but it should not be the only vehicle that we utilize.

Now ultimately he relented and we did use a mix including his favorite but used the mix of media to reach a broader platform and still stay within budget.

I think that’s a critical component for too many advertisers. They unfortunately and unwittingly sometimes have blinders on so that they only want to use the media that they see, and recognize, and understand and appreciate and are familiar with, and that’s excellent.

It’s always a good comfort zone to be using something that you know and like and trust, and importantly if you have tested and if it’s working for you keep using it. I have no quarrel with that, however I want you to make sure you don’t discount or dismiss other opportunities… because I never read that magazine, I don’t listen to that radio station, I never get home in time to watch TV.

You’re right! You don’t! But you are not selling to you, you were selling to the hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands who are interested in your product,

in your service and they don’t really care what would you watch. What you want to do is put your message in front of them on the platforms and the times that resonate for them.

If you have a chance to see it that’s great, and you will see the commercial before it goes to air and we can give you scheduling as to when it will be on air if you want to take the time to record it and watch it later.

We can give you a list of the websites that we’ll be appearing on if you want to personally go in and look at it, that’s excellent. But don’t dismiss other media options just because they are not familiar to you. They are familiar to your audience. Your media professionals should be able to put in front of you empirical data showing this is why you need to utilize radio in addition to magazine.

Why online platforms are going to be a powerful assist to the magazine and out of home campaign. Whatever it is, firstly it should be measurable, empirical to justify it, but importantly it has to be reaching your preferred target group.

So as I mentioned at the outset, the chances are pretty good you’re not your products’ target group so don’t just rely on your gut or your instinct or your own taste in media for where to place the ad.

Goodness sake I’ve placed hundreds maybe thousands of ads in media that I know from a buyer’s standpoint and not necessarily a users standpoint. And that’s fine because like it or not, I’m not always a target group for such-and-such a product.

But I do know the right media to get your message in front of the proper target.

So when you’re developing who your audience is, please take the time to be as specific as possible. You don’t want to get so finite that you end up with a universe of twelve people and I’ve seen that happen.

But don’t pick the wrong place or the wrong target group or both and then wonder gee, why this is such a lackluster response. Man, nobody is buying my new space-age shovel, my post hole diggers, my whatever, they need to know that you’re providing a solution and the solution it provides has to be what they need, and has to be in the media that they are going to respond to and act on.

One client in particular was a real sports fan and yours truly as well. Absolutely pick, a sport and I’m there. But they put the ad on the sports radio network because that’s what they listen to. However their primary audience was for younger females who had little, if any interest in most of these sporting programs. It’s disappointing because it was such a powerful campaign if it had been properly directed to the right audience. So here’s what I want you to do.

To fix mistake number three, do the proper research find out who is really buying your product or service and maybe that’s a survey, a store intercept survey, an online survey, a mail out, something that genuinely tells you who is buying your product or who you think your candidates are.

You can get as specific as possible by gender and age, by income and lifestyle, and a host of other demographic details that will help you zero in on them. As much as you’re able. Please do not rely on the universe of one sampling. Well my mom liked that. Oh perfect. Love your mom. You should always love Mom, but Mom’s not necessarily buying the new car ramps or the trampoline for the kids.

That’s not to say they’re not influencers, but understand importantly who is going to be making those decisions. If it is Mom that’s great.

If it’s Dad or a Dad and Mom or if it’s the boss or if it’s the treasurer, or your financial officer in the company you really truly need to know who you’re going after to make ads work harder, be more impactful and importantly cost you less, yes, cost you less.

You will get a better return on investment and give you more to spend for future marketing if you take the time to identify who it is you want to go after. What message you want to put in front of them, and which media to best reach them. Believe me, after three decades, I can tell you it is well worth the research to know your audience.

Okay, so what you’re looking for are some characteristics which consistently define your audience then you can create the message using the right radio station or website, outdoor media, newspapers that efficiently and effectively reaches them.

Equally as I mentioned at the outset take the time to test the ad. Or multiple ads on a small scale to see what works. You’ll have a lot of coding in place and a lot of planning to do but it will pay dividends when you hit the sweet spot of the ad, or the ad in the right media or media mix that bring in the customers.

By the way, many of the local media sales reps should be able to give you detailed profiles from all of their resources to give you a clear handle on who you’re after.

Let them do some leg work. Tell them who you want to reach and in many cases it’s a very specific age and income bracket that you’re after and you want to see how well their media, whatever radio station, magazine, newspaper, it happens to be, you want to see how well their media gets in front of those audience members and eyeballs on a regular basis and can you track how well they’re performing.

Respectfully I don’t mean just ‘Likes’ that’s a certain, KPI that seems to be quite a hot button and that’s great. But that’s not really a true measurement of how well the product is doing. You want a measurable return on investment. You want to be able to say that we spent $1,000 for this ad and it brought in $2,000 dollars worth of new business. Perfect.

If all you’re getting is 500 likes or 35 shares etc.,… that’s nice. That’s not what your marketing should be about. It should be bringing you back at least a dollar for every dollar you put out there. So when you are testing your ads take the time to do it on a small scale. Here’s the best analogy that I will leave you with, you don’t need to eat a whole bowl of soup to find out if it’s salty usually one or two spoonfuls will tell you

Then you’ll decide whether or not you want to eat the rest of it or move on to something else. With that I bid you adieu for number three. I look forward to seeing you in Article # 4- Learn To Be Consistent.

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