The Most Forgotten Element of Communication
We are all guilty of this.
We focus on the success of the launch, the social media post, or the sales numbers.
But we forget the most important part.
We design, strategize, and create based on what we think is best.
But we forget the perception and the need.
We get too caught up in what we need to say that we forget who we are talking to.
We forget our target audience.
The one element that most brands and professionals forget when communicating is their target audience.
An established business may have identified their target audience or ideal customer or target market when writing their mission statement, website, or business plan. But what I find is that the target audience is forgotten when strategizing on a weekly basis. It's more about the logistics, the budget, or time bandwidth. We email, post, or market as if it's just an item on the list. It's just throwing something out there and hoping it sticks.
For new businesses, the target audience can be hard to define at first. Because it is hard to define, it's ignored or put off for later. The focus is on getting through the to do list, launching the product or service, or bringing in revenue.
For my professionals, you have a target audience, too! Usually it is a potential employer, partner, or connection. We worry so much about what to write on a resume, on a cover letter, in a bio, or in an email. We forget to view it from the reader’s perspective.
When I am working with clients (business or professional) I ask,
“Who is your target audience?”
“Who are you trying to communicate with?”
When you start here, your strategy, plan, and words have purpose. You aren’t throwing a social media post or resume out hoping something sticks.
Here are 3 ways to communicate with your target audience with purpose:
1 | DESCRIBE & VISUALIZE THEM
Start by defining your target audience in terms of basic demographics. Age, gender, location, income, occupation/industry, hobbies, etc. Then start to describe their lifestyle, needs, wants, etc. For some, it helps to give your customer a name and personality. It helps your team visualize who they are communicating with.
If the business is established, describe your best clients or customers. You have to identify the ones you want more of!
For my professionals, research the companies and professionals you are about to communicate with. It makes it easier to envision who you are writing to.
2 | MEET THEM IN THEIR NEED
Now really think about their needs or problems. Focus on the ones that you are the solution for.
Knowing the need is only half of it. How can you meet them? How can you show up where they are? Where are they looking? Where are they spending their time?
If you are talking to the right audience but they aren’t present, the words fall flat.
So know the need and know where they are.
For my professionals, think about the situation the employer is in. They need someone with expertise. They need someone to contribute to success, improve processes, or reduce the work load. They need someone who is there to serve and lead. So write or speak to them with that in mind.
3 | FINISH THE THOUGHT IN THEIR MIND
Now it's time to start talking or writing! When you write a social media post, a cover letter, an email, or update a website page, think about the person who is reading it. How can you finish the thought in their mind or answer the question they have?
The customer or client is wondering if you can fix their problem, help them, or carry a product they need.
The employer is wondering who you are, what you want, how you can help, and why they should consider you.
I encourage you to remember your target audience when you start a new project, strategize, launch a product or service, re-brand, apply for an opportunity, or write your social media content/posts.
There is a lot of noise that distracts us and competes for attention.
Keeping your target audience in mind is one way to break through and stick.
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If you have any questions about the target audience for yourself or your business, reach out.
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