So you’ve convinced yourself that you need to have a presence online. Or maybe someone else has convinced you – either way, you’ve made the decision and are ready to move forward. Now your problem is that you have no idea what you should say. What aspects of your product or service should you highlight? What tone do you take? All of this can be extremely daunting – unless you first answer one key question that flies under the radar for many people new to the online arena:
Who exactly are you talking to? Who is your target audience?
To find your target audience, you have to define two key people – your consumer and your customer. “Wait,” you say, “aren’t those the same person?” Not always! Here’s the distinction – your consumer is the person who consumes or uses your product or service. Some examples:
- the guy who eats your sandwiches
- the woman who wears your t-shirt
- the business owner who implements your marketing advice.
Your customer is the person who makes the purchase decision – your buyer. Examples of customers:
- the mom buying groceries for her family
- the purchasing manager evaluating b2b vendors
- the receptionist placing an order from a restaurant for a company lunch
If these two people are the same, your job is easier. You can craft a message appropriate for that audience and meet them where they are online. If you have several audiences, you need to decide how you’d like to engage and drive demand – from the consumer side, or the customer side. Consumers respond to messages appealing to the enjoyment or utility they get from your product or service. Customers generally respond better to messages that promote value, quality or convenience. Specifics depend very much on what types of people populate your audiences. Do your research, and engage the proper audience the way the want to be engaged and you’re well on your way. Stay tuned this week for more advice on finding your customers and tailoring your content and messages to their needs. It’s gonna be a good week.