Know your audience!

Not long ago I was sitting with a potential client who after some discussion made this statement, 'Radio is just not working for us right now'.  I had heard his ad on different stations in town and was certainly familiar with his product and even though the relationship with this client was somewhat new I felt bold enough to say, 'I'm not surprised'.  He started to respond then stopped mid word and just looked at me as if to say, what?

After a few moments of silence I went on to explain my statement.

He was advertising a product and service whose largest and most interested audience was female. His commercial spoke to women, voiced by a woman and used language that created a comfort level with women but he was advertising on a group of radio stations that catered to MEN!  

No wonder radio wasn't 'working' for him right now, he was looking for customers in possibly the wrong place and certainly the wrong way in that place.   A good sales person may take the buy and then should work with the advertiser to change the message or method to speak to that particular audience.

He told me that he went with stations he liked and knew they were popular.  That is one of the biggest mistakes advertisers make; not knowing your audience.

So how does an advertiser begin to know it's customer or audience?

First, look for and work with a good salesperson who has the heart of a teacher and can help you in this process.  While you are looking here are a few other question to ask yourself to get you started.

What are you selling?  What is your product?  Who buys it?   Is it a child, teenager, adult. You don't want to market a product to a child that is most suitable for an adult.

What is the gender of your audience? Is it male or female? You can't very well sell female products to males.

How would you talk to the opposite gender about your product?

How much does your product cost?  Are you trying to market luxury items to them?   If so then your potential customer needs to be at a certain income level.  You need to determine what your customers can and cannot afford.

Is this something that they're willing to save money for or that they have to purchase at this specific time?

Which, if any, special features are most appealing?

Is this product or service an impulse buy or is this something someone is saving for? 

The more you know and understand your product and who buys it or uses it the better you know about potential future customers.