You are not your target audience (and neither is your boss)
It's not uncommon. When you work for or have founded a company, you believe in your product. Perhaps you created something or solved a problem that filled a need you had and found success with it. Perhaps your first 100 customers were people like you. Your friends, even.
But that's not an accurate snapshot of who your customers are. They have different personas and different needs, and you - or the people you work with - have to take that into consideration.
We see this challenge on a fairly regular basis in the strategic work we do at de Novo. When we start working on developing personas for target audiences, they seem startlingly similar to our clients. So much so, that we've had to stage a few interventions.
FREEZE! This is the marketing police!
Put your hands in the air and back away slowly from your marketing strategy.
That's right, we're taking you downtown. Let me read you your rights first.
1. You have the right to remain silent. Yeah you, wiseguy. You who thinks your clientele looks just like you, thinks like you and buys like you. You are not your target market.
2. Anything you say can and be used to refute this idea. We've heard this one before: "But I read the newspaper!" Oh, and here's another good one: "My cousin saw our last commercial and loved it. It had her kids in it!" Oh, and our favorite: "I don't have a facebook account."
3. You have the right to talk to a marketing agency and have them present when being sold to by shady media reps. Your agency may represent you when you can't see past the target that's plastered to your face, obscuring your vision.
4. If you cannot afford to hire a marketing agency, for God's sake, could you just try reading some blogs?
5. You can, at any time, refuse these rights and bury your head in the sand. I mean, if you take the batteries out of a clock, time stops, right?
Alright, watch your head as you get in the car.
How to avoid the marketing police
There are a lot of different ways to
get your head out your ass focus on the larger landscape of your multiple and variate target audiences.
To make it easier, go ahead and start with yourself - or your boss. Acknowledge that is one persona that buys from you. Build a picture of what that person looks like. Give 'em a name. (Hint: if you name it after yourself or your boss, you've just spotted a serious case of Immyowntargetmarketitis.)
Now think about your other customers, their traits, their likes, their online habits, and build another. Think about your best customers. Start by talking to them and get a solid understanding of what it is they want and need from your product. You need to understand, through anecdotal evidence, keyword research and other analytical tools, how they found you. And while your at it, what their experience was. Would they or have they told a friend about your product or service?
Next, think about your dream client: the one who buys the products or services with the best margin, and is your most efficent sell, and perhaps a pleasure to do business with. This is who you want to focus your energy on. Always prioritize your targeted personas by who helps you reach your goal.
Need help? We do this every day.