June 2015
Who Is Your Audience?

Jeffrey Spear - President, Studio Spear

Jeff Spear

Effective marketing requires a clear understanding of what you have to say (offer), what you want to achieve (objective) and the audience you want to reach. Although offers and objectives are typically well defined, in many cases, audiences are not.


While it’s important to know who your audience is in terms of demographics (age, gender, family status, income, education, etc.), it’s more important to know how they think. Appealing to your audience according to their personal and professional preferences, along with content that triggers an emotional reaction, can measurably increase the impact and response you can expect from your marketing campaigns.

Marketers traditionally start out with the assumption that audiences must be defined and categorized. While appropriate, the use of labels such as B2C or B2B can be very prejudicial and misleading. I find it more productive to approach each and every marketing effort as "human to human" (H2H).

In every transaction, there is always a core human response that marketing can evoke and subsequently exploit. Generating these responses transforms a sales message from an impersonal "selling" statement into a deep-reaching, soul-satisfying message that moves your audience with greater impact.

When we worked with one of Australia’s leading pharmaceutical retailers (B2C), our messages were not about medicinal remedies, diseases or products. We had learned that customers visited the "drug store" to find ways to look good, feel good or get better. And since we also knew that most of our customers were women in the role of "primary care-giver," these individuals wanted to be sure that their purchasing decisions were the best ones they could make for their families. In short, while they needed to find healthcare, hygiene and fashion solutions, they also needed to have their fears (wrong choice, poor provider/mother/wife) alleviated. Our messages, therefore, focused on highly emotional issues of trust - trust in the brand, trust in advice, trust in product efficacy, trust in the pharmacist, etc.

Understanding emotional triggers and knowing what makes your audience tick is just as important as statistics such as occupation, age, income and gender. It also opens up opportunities to be creative, entertaining, have fun and let loose a bit. This is where the labels (B2B, B2C, B2G) are most obviously restrictive. So many marketers believe that business communications must be serious if it is to be successful. Sure, make a credible point. That being said, getting attention, creating a buzz and generating top-of-mind awareness requires, and often times demands, more than a mere recital of facts.

The bottom line rests in making a connection with your audience and compelling them to act in a manner that is consistent with your marketing agenda. Of course, there will always be brand owners who will be satisfied by stating the obvious and reciting facts. In these situations, success will be measured in inches. When you embrace human values, prove relevancy, and appeal to the heart, you’ll end up with stronger customer relationships and bottom line results that can be measured in (s)miles.


If the time has come to overhaul, update and re-invigorate your brand image, or you'd like to change up your marketing program, please call 904 685 2135 - ask for Jeff Spear. You can also contact Jeff via email: jeff@studiospear.com.

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