Hackernoon logoHow to Hit the Bullseye With Your Marketing Message Without Committing Any Crimes by@stevekehler

How to Hit the Bullseye With Your Marketing Message Without Committing Any Crimes

Steve Kehler Hacker Noon profile picture

@stevekehlerSteve Kehler

Downloading brain dumps before deletion. To the 2nd grader, a 4th grader is a genius.

If stealing wasn’t wrong, would you turn to a life of theft?  If you wanted something, all you’d have to do is take it.  No consequences or punishment.  Of course, in real life, this isn’t the case.  The funny thing is, in sports, it actually happens quite frequently.  Balls are stolen.  Bases are stolen.  Teams steal plays from other teams.  Players steal signals from other players.  And seldom is anyone penalized for such actions.

But sometimes, the theft simply goes too far.  The 2017 Houston Astros baseball team is a prime example. They were investigated and found guilty of using technology to steal signs from their opponents.  The Astros punishment was significant – millions of dollars in fines, managers were suspended, and draft picks were forfeited.  So why would a team do this if they knew it was wrong?  Surely the Astros knew there would be consequences if they were caught.  Very simply – reward over risk.  The Astros believed they needed an advantage and could get it by knowing exactly what their opponent was about to do.

Fortunately, we can know our marketing audience very well without needing to take any illegal actions.  There are a lot of tools available for us to understand our audience. This will give us an advantage when marketing to them.  Knowing our audience helps us get our marketing message right on target.  In this article we’re going to discuss how knowing our audience improves our marketing by covering these three main categories:

  1. Geography
  2. Demographics
  3. Psychographics

Let’s get started by looking at how our marketing is affected by geography.

Not everyone can be a potential customer

Geography plays a big role in who can and who can’t be our customer. If our business services a defined geographic region, people outside that area aren’t potential customers.  I know this sounds like an obvious statement. But you’d be surprised at how many businesses I see that are advertising in geographic regions where they do not provide their services. 

If our company doesn’t service a city, region, state, or province, then we need to purposely exclude advertising from that area.  This mostly applies to online advertising.  Any clicks on an ad from outside our service region is wasted advertising budget.  Local businesses need to tailor their advertising to their area of service. Businesses that operate across the country are also wise to modify their marketing to fit specific regions.  Why is this?

West coast vibes are found on the west coast

Advertising that performs well on the west coast may not be as well received in the Mid-west.  Similarly, what works well in the south may not work so good in the north.  Attitudes and perceptions differ across large countries such as Canada and the USA.  Even with significant migration across these country over the previous decades, there are still regional differences.  Ignoring this fact may negatively affect marketing results.  Now that we know the difference geography plays in marketing strategies, what affect does demographics have on our marketing tactics?  We’re on to point #2.


Photo by Ekaterina Shakharova on Unsplash

We speak differently to our children than to our grandparents

Marketing to different age groups needs to differ as well. Other demographics that will shape marketing include race, ethnicity, gender, religion, martial status, income, education, and employment. Adjusting marketing based on these factors looks to be a touchy subject these days.  But if you don’t make the necessary adjustments, prepare to reap the results.

Both the message and the media are affected by demographics

There are plenty of studies out there that show the breakdown of social media platform usage by age group.  This goes the same for the other demographics.  Successful marketing requires intimate knowledge of our audience’s demographics to be able to sculpt the right message and share it on the most applicable media.  We’re getting deeper into knowing exactly who our audience is, but we can go even deeper.  This brings us to the third point: psychographics.

Psychographics will take our marketing to the next level

We’re really going deep now.  We won’t only be adjusting our marketing based on geography or demographics, we’ll also be fine tuning our message based on psychographics.  What are psychographics?  Psychographics involve classifying people according at psychological criteria.  These can include a person’s interests, values, opinions, lifestyle, and attitude.  When we know these intimate details of our audience, we can speak to them like we are speaking to a friend, one-on-one.

Psychographics reveal what really matters

We won’t need to guess as to what our audience really values.  We can craft our message in a way that speaks to the readers inner-most person.  They’ll be able to relate to our message, and a bond of trust will be formed.  Our audience will feel like we wrote our message for them, and them alone.  That’s how well we’ll know them.

Is this all sounding a little creepy?

It’s almost as if we’re stalking our audience.  Most of us hate it when we’re exposed to such fine-tuned marketing.  As business owners, we may almost question if it’s even legal.  Fortunately, it is.  Different marketing platforms reveal a great amount of information our audience. What makes this legal, and not creepy, is that the knowledge we have about our audience is not related to one individual person, but rather groups as a whole. 

We shouldn’t be afraid to use knowledge about our audience to our advantage

In 2014, I relied heavily on knowing my audience when I was promoting several affiliate offers on Facebook.  My ads differed between different regions of the county, different age groups, and were different for men and women.  Knowing which ad performed best for a specific group made all the difference between profitability and loss.

In summary, we must invest the time needed to know our audience

Putting the same marketing message in front of everyone in the world is a recipe for disaster.  We need to make sure we understand our audience in terms of

  1. Geography
  2. Demographics
  3. Psychographics

There’s no crime being committed when you know your audience very well.  It isn’t cheating or stealing.  Unlike the 2017 Houston Astros team, who went too far and were penalized for it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you found it helpful, please share it to your social media. For your next article to read on the topic of marketing, I’d recommend reading “How to know if your new facebook ad campaign is a dud in 3 days or less.” In it we discuss interpreting the success of your ad campaign by covering ad spend, click results, and conversion results. Cheers.

Previously published at https://stevekehler.com/how-to-hit-the-bullseye-with-your-marketing-message/


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