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Are You Alienating Your Audience?

connected people
“Heeellllpppp!!”

My mum emailed me yesterday.

This “Heeeellllpppp” was her subject line.

“What on earth do I do with this? “ she asked, forwarding me an email she had received.

She had received an invite to join a Google Group.  Nothing wrong with that in essence, other than mum is not a great lover of technology (that could possibly be the under-statement of this year) and doesn’t frequent any social media network.

Mum is highly intelligent and a highly respected and sought after pyscho-therapist, and an expert in her field of psycho-sexual therapy, where she occasionally gets called upon to give witness statements in Court cases.  She just doesn’t like all the online gadgetry nor social media platforms, preferring instead to meet and socialise with real people, face to face.  I can’t say I blame her either; I prefer real people too!

The disappointment here is that mum was invited by the organiser of this particular group who gave no thought as to who was being invited.  Social media and online tools have been readily adopted by teenagers, and 20-30 year olds.  It is a natural part of their culture and they “get it”.  For the rest of us a little older that 31, then we have to work a slightly harder at understanding how all of this stuff works, how it benefits us, and how to work and manage it all.

From my observation only, people in my mum’s generation are slower adopters of this new online world.  They have been brought up in a different world, and have different expectations and sets of mores.  It doesn’t make them right and the new world wrong, or vice versa.  It’s just different.  Some of the more mature generation of course “get it” and a whole new marketing term has been created – that of “silver surfer”.

Nevertheless, when you are considering what media to use to reach your target clients, then you need to consider two things:

  1. Do you enjoy and want to use the marketing tool or media?  If not, don’t do it.
  2. Will your target client respond to, and use, the marketing tool or media that you have chosen?  I think this is more true with digital and online social media, than any other.

For instance, just because you may have read that Facebook has reported that its users are getting older, it doesn’t necessarily mean your target group of over 65 year olds will be using it.

Think about the actual, real people that you’re targeting.  Who are they?  What are they interested in?

My mum got invited to a closed group for professional therapists.  All very well, but that tells me two things straight away:

Firstly, therapists are “people” orientated.  By the sheer nature of what they do, they would have to be.  That means they’re probably more likely to want to deal with others on a more personal basis, rather than a distant, online basis.

Secondly, being a therapist would put them in a more mature age bracket.  So, the likelihood of them merrily adopting a new social media platform drops dramatically.

I’m not saying some of them won’t; only that as a generational approach, online social media is probably not as readily or as easily adopted than you would find in a younger age group.

So, I’m not picking on the mature age groups here, nor am I picking on online social media – which certainly has its place.

What I’m saying is that you need to think about WHO your target clients actually are – as living, breathing people.  They are not just a “demographic” or an “avatar” or a “target audience”.  Yes, all those terms are very useful, but behind them are real people – just like you and me – with real lives, real needs, real frustrations, real relationships, real hobbies and interests and so on.

It’s important not to forget that; it’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking your “target audience” is “them out there”; as a distant group that appear on your marketing plan, when really they’re just like you and me. They trundle round Sainsbury’s or Tesco’s on a wet November Saturday morning, complete with trolley with the wonky wheel – just like you and I do.

So…who IS the real person that you want as a client?

And would they really use the media (particularly the online media) that we’re all told we “must” use?

Think about it, and you will naturally revolutionise the way you approach your marketing.

If you would like assistance in determining your ideal client and the media you use to reach them, please call me on 01452 223306.

Dedicated to your success,
See you next week,
Kim.

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