Marketing Requires That You Know Your Customers

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Credit: Thinkstock You must know your customer, get your audience's attention and follow up to know whether your marketing worked.

Credit: Thinkstock You must know your customer, get your audience's attention and follow up to know whether your marketing worked.

Below is an entertaining and educational example of a marketing message directed to a specific audience that has been tremendously successful (meaning it has been watched and shared). This type of marketing shows that the creators understood who their audience is, gave specific information in an unusual way to garner attention, and followed up quickly since the first "educational video" was so wildly popular.

Do you make your marketing fun for yourself and your audience? Here are some lessons you can learn for your horse business from these breast cancer awareness videos.

Your first Marketing 101 lesson in this article is: Know Your Customer.

You have to know who you are targeting with your business and your marketing. Do you cater to older women with dressage horses, or young girls taking riding lessons? Are you spreading the word in ways that people in those demographics know who you are and what you offer?

Here’s the latest breast cancer awareness video and the follow-up video that advertise a new app. Watch at least one of these (preferably both) to understand how they determined who their market was, how to get their attention, and how they followed up when their marketing was successful.

While I’m a fan of fun, educational marketing, it isn’t often that you see it done together so well. I found this educational video (and yes, it really is) through social media, and it’s hugely popular. For the straight men in the audience, this is fairly sexist and probably not all that interesting. For the women, it’s a laugh-out-loud moment, and one they just “have to share” with their 100 closest friends!

Guess who the customer is for this message? Yep! Women.

Breast self-exam isn’t sexy, it can be embarrassing to discuss in public, and it certainly isn’t funny. Well, it wasn’t until someone came up with this great video campaign that went viral.

This points to the second Marketing 101 rule: First You Must Get Their Attention!

It’s impossible to educate or sell yourself or your business if you don’t first stop the customer and get that person's attention. And if you then can make your audience “brand ambassadors” for your message (meaning they help you spread your marketing message), you have succeeded. We have had several articles about brand ambassadors, who are people who promote you and your message without your knowledge. That’s what happens when videos go viral.

Then guess what? When the breast cancer marketing folks saw that the video was so popular, they quickly came out with a second one that is (if possible) even more over-the-top. Again, it was share-and-share-alike as the message spread like wildfire across the Internet. If the marketers weren’t paying attention--if they had been focused solely on the next project and been “blind” to the success of the current one--they would have missed a great opportunity to follow up.

Your third Marketing 101 rule is: Pay Attention To See If It Works.

So, as you are thinking about how to market yourself or your services, don’t forget the power of a good laugh, even with serious subjects.

Your fourth Marketing 101 rule is: Follow Up.

Once you see that something is working, don't be afraid to follow up in that same vein or in the same way to garner even more attention from your target audience.

And remember these four Marketing 101 rules:

  1. Know Your Customer
  2. First You Must Get Their Attention
  3. Pay Attention To See If It works
  4. Follow up