“Who is your audience?” is akin to asking, “What’s the meaning of life?” in the marketing realm. It’s a question guaranteed to cause some head-scratching, whether you’re chatting with your marketing team over coffee or strategizing in the boardroom. And, let’s be honest, it does seem a bit like a trick question. Shouldn’t your marketing squad have a dossier on your audience, complete with their favorite coffee and whether they prefer cats or dogs?

Well, yes…and no. Audiences aren’t just checkboxes of demographics. We’re talking about real people, not just “Male or Female, aged 18-24, with a penchant for gourmet cheese.” Every project sees a slightly different audience, and we’re tasked with understanding these unique individuals. Easier said than done, right?

Enter the world of market research, a magical place where personality traits are matched with calls to action (CTAs), and audiences are segmented into neat, little packages. Or so we hope. The reality is, market research is like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube in the dark. It’s complicated, and in the marketing world, “complicated” often translates to “expensive.” Big businesses might have the luxury of profiling their audience for each campaign, but for small businesses, that’s a tall order. But fear not! Being smaller can actually be your superpower. Small business owners often have an innate understanding of their audience that no amount of market research can match. The challenge? They might not realize it yet.

Adobe Stock describes this as “Diverse and cheerful audience”. Not bad. Is this your audience?

Take, for example, a conversation I had with a family-owned dry cleaner. I casually mentioned, “Your audience probably doesn’t care much about their clothes since clothing is cheap and disposable.” The look of horror on their face was akin to telling a chef that people prefer fast food. They insisted, “Our customers care deeply about their clothing and expect the best care.” This interaction was enlightening. They knew their customers but not their wider audience.

Your customers are your best clue to understanding your potential audience. They share traits, yes, but what about those who aren’t walking through your door? Why aren’t you drowning in wedding dresses needing preservation? Is it because people don’t know you offer this service, or have they yet to realize they need it?

For small businesses, understanding your audience goes beyond who currently supports you. It’s about identifying those who aren’t…yet. Ask yourself: Why not? What can I do to show them they should care? If there’s no connection, they might not be your audience, and that’s okay. Not everyone will be your customer, but understanding this distinction is crucial.

Here’s where the magic of marketing comes in. It’s not just about selling; it’s about educating, engaging, and, yes, entertaining. Take a leaf out of Seth Godin’s book and be a “purple cow” in a field of monochrome. Be remarkable. Or follow Peter Shankman’s advice and create moments of unexpected joy for your audience. Connect these strategies back to your brand’s core values and mission, as we strive to do at Barker & Christol. Check out how we approach marketing with a twist here.

So, how can you really get to know your audience? Start with these steps:

  1. Listen and Learn: Dive into social media, forums, and customer feedback. The gems of insight you’ll find are invaluable.
  2. Experiment: Test different messages and see what resonates. Marketing is as much about listening as it is about speaking.
  3. Engage: Build relationships, not just transactions. Show your audience you care beyond the sale.

Curious about taking your audience understanding to the next level? We’re here to help. Contact us to explore how we can uncover the true essence of your audience together.

Remember, your audience isn’t just out there; they’re waiting to be discovered, understood, and most importantly, appreciated. Let’s start that conversation today. Reach out to us and let’s make your marketing truly resonate. After all, knowing your audience is the first step in any great marketing journey.

Still wondering how to bridge the gap between your business and your potential audience? We’ve got insights, strategies, and a bit of humor waiting for you. Let’s talk.

Disclaimer: The preceding composition may include content that was generated with the assistance of artificial intelligence, either for the purpose of research or as a source of inspiration. While efforts have been made to ensure accuracy and relevance, it is advised to independently verify any information and consider it as a product of AI assistance.