by Tim Rowe

What I teach my college students about 'Targeting'​

Feb 23, 2021

Targeting

Permission to get it wrong

The first, most important rule of targeting in marketing is this - you can afford to get it wrong.

Just kidding, that'll get you fired.

But seriously, there is going to be some trial and error along the way so don't obsess. In fact, getting too specific has been proven in multiple instances to have the adverse effect - making it worse.

Our CEO Sam says it best...

It's okay to be wrong as long as you're consistently wrong so your conclusions are directionally correct.

For anyone who's ever been around a firearm, it's like Kentucky Windage. Shoot towards the target to the best of your ability, and with good fundamentals and, adjust where you aim based on the feedback of each shot until you are hitting the bullseye consistently.

So then, "what are the good fundamentals you ask"? Read on.

 

Who - What - How

This is an old Dan Kennedy copywriting trick and, frankly, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Because in a time when everyone is an "expert" in some sort of obscure marketing martial art, has a proprietary this-or-that, and has to use 10 words to explain what only needs 3, it pays to be good at the fundamentals.

We're seeing new platforms emerge amidst the disruption to Facebook, Google, and Twitter, and we're going to find out who the good marketers really are because they'll get these 3 things right.

 

Who do you want to talk to?

That's it. That simple. Describe them.

Who are they? Where do they live? What car do they drive? Oh, they take mass transit? Bus, train or both? Are they married? If so, for how long? Kids yet?

The point of this exercise is to get granular. The people you want to reach aren't "MarTech SaaS decision makers" or "People likely to buy a Honda in the next 90 days" they're real people with real lives.

If you can get this right, the other 2 get a lot easier.

 

What do you want to say to them?

Here's where the fun stuff starts.

Think about the 4 pillars of the buyers journey and how you can influence each (not just #4...don't be lazy).

  1. Know - They're not in purchase mode, but they are looking to learn something new. It could be a recipe, the best new midsize SUV, or the most affordable airline from JFK > ORL. Be helpful in educating.
  2. Go - Someone is ready to do something. Maybe they're ready to check out a new restaurant or pick up a gift on the way to a baby shower. Accessibility is key here.
  3. Do - Here's where I decide to remodel the bathroom while learning how to yodel and while it's not something my neighbors are particularly excited about, but I'm into it because doing things is what makes the world go 'round. Empower = Superpower
  4. Buy - Get the cash register ready because they're ready to buy your oversized wineglass that says "It's Wine O'Clock Somewhere!" or it could be something entirely impractical too. Whatever it is, their wallet is open, and they're ready to spend. Make your best pitch.

You're not going to wish your neighbor happy birthday every day until it's their birthday, just wait until Facebook reminds you. That's what it means to getting your messaging right for the moment.

Let's try one.

We'll be one of those home meal delivery kits where they give you the ingredients.

  1. Know - Did you know that all of our ingredients are sourced locally? Scan the QR Code to learn more about the farmers who made this meal possible.
  2. Go - Want to know where to get the best filet for your next dinner date? Find our Top 3 local butcher recommendations on findmybutcher.com
  3. Do - Join our virtual cooking classes every night at 6pm est and learn how to __________. Register here.
  4. Buy - Subscribe for 6 months and get 2 months free!

It's funny, when you lay them out like that it sure looks like a content marketing strategy, but the cool part is that you can apply that same framework to any brand, on any medium, which is a perfect segue to...

 

How do you want to say it?

This is how you'll actually deploy that message to the people who want to hear from you.

It could be YouTube, TikTok, direct mail, newspaper, Facebook, Instagram, radio, television (or Out of Home 😉) but what matters most here is effectiveness.

This is the literal delivery of your message to the people who you care most about hearing it. That part, I'll leave up to you.

Just a friendly tip - don't overthink it because the truth of the matter is...you're probably going to get it wrong before you get it right.

Class dismissed.

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