Last week, I asked you, “How Effective is Your Marketing Plan?” The second question on the Effectiveness Quiz was:
Did your plan address which products fill a need for your target demographic and why? (Choosing to target someone is all well and good, but if you can’t identify what product would fill a need in their life – it’s not worth your time to target it.)
Not every product you carry is going to be suited for your target audience (if you don’t have a target audience yet, you should read this post) so it’s important to discuss how and why particular product will fill a need for them. It’s incumbent upon you to figure out how your product will fill a void in their life.
To do this you need to really understand your target audience. Say their age bracket is 18-24, a female, university student, low-income and your product is a small metal notebook, filled with a 2.5″ x 3″ pad of paper, closed with a pen, and decorated with cutouts in the shapes of birds and flowers. Those demographics and product information, don’t tell the whole story – to really understand your target audience you need to create a narrative for how their day unfolds. For instance:
Karen is student and City University – her alarm goes off at 9, and she hits the snooze button 4 times before she musters the strength to get out of bed. It had been a long night of studying the night before and she hadn’t found her pillow until 3 am. After hauling herself out of bed, she heads down to the dorm’s communal bathroom where she takes a quick shower and gets ready for class. She hurries back to her room, grabs her backpack, tosses her computer in it and heads off through campus. After taking a seat in the last row of her first class she tries to pay attention throughout the lecture.
After class, she goes around the corner to the market for some much-needed caffeine in her favorite form, diet cola. As she’s checking out her eye catches a small metal notebook, filled with a pad of paper and closed with a pen. Just the night before she’d been wishing she had a notebook with paper just that size for taking notes and marking her textbook with. Since the price was just $3.99 she decided to splurge and get it along with the diet cola.
Understanding how your product fits into the life of the target audience, where they will encounter it, and why they might choose to make a purchase will allow you understand how and where your product needs to be in order to intercept your target audience and maximize your chance for a sale.
You can complete this exercise several times over for different products and for different versions of your target audience. Sharing these stories with your sales staff as well as your product development staff will help to align your organization, and definitely should be included in your strategic marketing plan.