Who Are You Talking To: Targeting the Right Audience

When it comes to any advertising effort—especially in out of home—it’s critical to define your target audience. It’s easy to say that you want your ad to target everyone, or anyone that could be a potential customer, but in reality it’s very unlikely that your business product, service, or mission is relevant to every person who may encounter your ad.

When working with a client to try and define their audience, we feel it works well to focus in on a specific audience with some simple questions. What the goal of your ad? To increase sales of a specific product, to get more phone calls, to advertise a sale, etc? When you have a goal, you can ask about who’s going to take advantage of it. Are they male or female? Young or old? Do they have a family? Are they influenced by price? Are they locals or tourists? Would they prefer browsing the web or making a phone call?

All of these questions, no matter how simple or silly they seem, all play into what could end up on your ad. If your ad is directed at males will have a much different design scheme—colors, fonts, images—than one targeted at women. If your audience is young and prefers to reach out via the internet, putting a phone number as a call-to-action will not entice them. It’s understanding who you are talking to that helps decide how you talk to them.

Now imagine your own business and how narrowing your focus on your audience may influence the decisions you make when it comes to your brand’s marketing, voice and ad placement. And if you need a little more help, check out this helpful, free course from U.S. Small Business Administration on Understanding Your Customer.


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