DEAR ROGUE:
Why doesn’t our target audience like us? Please help!

Dear CMO:
Pause with me for a moment and think way back to your grade school days, when teachers asked the class who wanted to be first to answer a question, or the kickball teams were lining up to play. Do you feel that “Pick me! Pick me!” feeling. It can be frustrating to know that you have a great product or service, but somehow the customers are picking someone else. At first, you look around checking for mistakes in the numbers. As soon as the realization sinks in that all your hard work and dedication has gone unnoticed, you wonder “Is it me? Did I do something wrong?”

You haven’t necessarily done something wrong. It may be that you just didn’t do the ONE thing right that mattered most to your consumers. Before you fire your receptionist, cancel Christmas bonuses, or demote your graphic designer to data entry, take a candid and focused look at your strategy, your competitors, and the customer. It’s time for a little reflection, and well worth the effort to find your customer growth sweet spot.

WHO ARE THEY

The first “they” being you! Who are you and why is your brand so great? Reevaluate the things that you do well and what makes you unique. Early in every business’s plan, it should have been identified what will be the amazing product or service that they will provide, and why they would be competitive in that particular industry to begin with. To quote Zig Ziglar, don’t let yourself become a wandering generality. To intentionally define your brand to the consumer and to the rest of the world, you must become a meaningful specific. With that in mind, would your existing customers agree with that assessment? If you aren’t absolutely sure that you are providing significant value in that area, it’s time to rediscover your distinctive market influence.

Also, is what makes you unique still highly relevant? If you are just simply different for the sake of being different, then your distinction serves no purpose. Your previous customers may have needed you and connected with you, but when the marketplace changes, as it always does, does your brand still register on the new scale.

The next “they” is the competitor. Engaging your target customers requires knowing your competition and what they can do for the customer as well. What’s working for another brand isn’t going to work exactly the same for you, and you shouldn’t copy their exact strategy. Don’t try to out-Walmart Walmart. It’s vital now to figure out the best strategy to distract consumers from their usual patterns of behavior and take notice of you instead.

The last “they” is the consumer. Is your target consumer still what it was 5 or 10 years ago? Do they even exist, or have they been replaced by mobile millennials too busy texting and driving to be aware that your brand exists? Go back to basics to find out who the obtainable customers really are, who is buying what you’re selling, and if those are the best consumers to give you the long-term growth you need.

WHAT DO THEY WANT?

Assumptions and stereotypes are a strategy killer, and can lead you down roads of empty promises and broken dreams. Well maybe not the broken dreams part, I’m just being dramatic for effect. But doesn’t that illustrate the point!? If you had just met me today, judging by my demographics, education, or interests you probably wouldn’t take me for a very dramatic or sarcastically funny person. But, are you pigeonholing your audience too by assuming you know what they want and why they need it?
I would caution you not to assume that broad demographic data, whether researched or tested, is necessarily right for your brand’s strategy, because your analytic skills are limited to your past experiences only. Amplify your analytics to find your most specific audience segment. Your systematic findings may seem logical until the day you’re shocked to find that they aren’t working as promised. Become a Consumer Whisperer, (or hire one) and find those groups of people eagerly awaiting a product or service just like yours. Find and embrace your best target audience for growth, whoever they may be.

WHERE ARE THEY?

Did you know that the average recruiter or hiring manager looks at your resume for 6 seconds? 6 seconds! That’s only twice the attention span of a goldfish. If you’ve discovered your business’s potential for growth, and your newfound audience, will you be able to reach them? Will consumers read your brand’s resume, or are you blindly shouting down a dark hall hoping for some light at the end? Attention spans of today’s consumers are pulled in so many directions that it can be hard to be seen and get noticed. The shelf life of a Facebook post is only a few hours, and that is only to your fans who already like and follow you. What you need is to be so easily found that potential leads are tripping over your website and remembering your ads when they go to sleep at night.

You also need to be found where your target audience wants to find you. That’s very important, get that wrong and they might hate you. Considering that I work in marketing I find myself talking back to ads and commercials all the time. I suppose I and others like me have very high standards when it comes to who I let invade my phone, my TV, my radio listening time, and the supposedly “personal” feeds on social media.

Take a trip down your customer’s road and explore their thought process. How will they be looking for you? When will they most likely need you? Where do they go when they are open to interaction with you? Picture you scrolling to find Aunt Irma’s latest cat pics on Facebook, but all you can see are suggested videos, and paid for links to buy the next best thing! Getting this right is a major boost to finding your customer growth and engagement sweet spot. It’s time for YOU to be picked, and perfecting your strategy around these things is key. Please feel free to call on us if you need help.

Sincerely,
Rogue Marketing Agency

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