Big businesses spend a lot of money defining their target market and then tailor their adverting campaigns to engage directly with that market which is why when you’re watching TV, listening to radio, reading the paper or surfing the web, some advertisements stick out and others simply fade into the background – if you notice them, chances are you’re their Target Market and it’s no mistake you’ve paid attention.
There are essentially two types of advertising – Brand Building and Call to Action campaigns.
Branding buildings campaigns are designed to create awareness for a brand and connect the audience with the values of the brand. Coca-Cola is a great example of a business that actively builds its brand through expensive and emotive brand campaigns using multiple media channels. Most of these campaigns are targeted at young adults.
Call to Action (CTA) campaigns are those with a specific time-bound message encouraging the consumer to act on the advertisement. In Australia, Harvey Norman is a great example on TV, Snooze in print, TPG online or Holden on radio (although these brands are obviously in multiple media channels).
In general, unless your business has a lot of money, brand building can be a very expensive way to advertise, whereas CTA campaigns can be done by almost any business seeking to connect with customers for a defined offering in a specific period. Either way, without knowing ‘who’ (meaning your Target Market) you’re connecting with, all advertising will be only marginally effective.
In today’s world of online advertising where even the smallest business can blast out a campaign on Facebook or other social media platforms for a few dollars, it is even more important that business know their audience because even a few dollars on Facebook can add up and leave business owners wondering why their ad got no response.
So how can you learn from big business? Firstly, big business has learnt that even with their massive budgets, they need to generate a return on their advertising. They engage companies to run focus groups and conduct market research to ensure their products. Unless you’re playing in the big league you won’t be able to do this, so you need to know who you are talking to get a result from your advertising spend.
Big businesses build sophisticated avatars for their Target Market. In my short course online I teach you how to build an avatar but essentially you create a picture of who you want to sell to (be it a consumer or business).
Once you have this Avatar, you can start using it to create an advertising campaign. The trick is to think about speaking directly to that person (or business) as if you were sitting directly across for them. What language would you use? What images would interest them? What’s in it for them (in other words, what problem are you solving for them). Advertising is really like having a conversation directly to your Target Market.
If you are using social maid to advertise, you have the added benefit of communicating directly with your Target Market. For example, you can single out gender, age, location, interests, job – the list is endless. This is an advertisers dream come true! But unless you have already created your Avatar, you’ll be paying to reach clients you don’t really want to do business with.
Large companies are the masters at this so next time you see an advertisement, think about what it is that caught your attention but remember your advertising is not what appeals to YOU, but what appeals to your Target Market Avatar.