Friday, May 14, 2010

Know Your Audience

I originally wrote this post for my work blog at ADwërks. Wanted to share it on here as well.

Audience Yesterday, the graphically-talented Mike Hay and I were brainstorming and concepting for a client’s magazine ad we needed to create.

We spent about five minutes discussing cool ad concepts, fun design possibilities and creative, punchy copy that would stand out from the rest of the ads.

And then we came to a realization. We were creating an ad in a style we would like to see in a magazine. Unfortunately, we were not the magazine’s target audience. Once we realized that, our entire creative process shifted and we came up with an ad that was much more fitting for what we – and more importantly, what the client – wanted to accomplish.

As marketers, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking about what we do or don’t like to see. We watch commercials that annoy us and we vow never to make a commercial like those. We see billboards that appall us and we promise ourselves we’ll never make a billboard like that.

In short, we think of how we want to be marketed to rather than how the target audience should be marketed to.

Remember: As advertisers, we are not marketing to each other. We get paid to help our clients reach the customers that love (or will love) our clients’ products and services.

Personal opinions and viewpoints are essential to coming up with new and exciting ways to reach a target audience – just make sure you really are trying to reach the target audience and not your fellow marketers.

-Mike B.

How about you? Ever created the “perfect” ad only to discover it really wasn’t “perfect” for the intended audience? Can you think of any national campaign efforts that failed miserably at reaching the target market? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Photo ("our chunk of audience at the heretic") c/o Jhayne. Thanks!

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