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Do You Ignore Most of Your Audience?

You have an audience. Some have done business with you, will return and tell others how great you are. Others are ready to buy from you or are thinking about buying from you. Some of them have never heard of you but still need you.

Avinash Kaushik - Ignoring Customers

The difference between average marketing and great marketing, according to Avinash Kaushik in his keynote at Demand Success last week, is that great marketers pay attention and really think about how they market to each segments of their audience.

Average marketers worry only about those who are ready to buy. When you do that, you inadvertently ignore a huge percentage of your audience.

He calls these segments:

  • See: The people out there who aren’t aware you exist but have a need you fulfill.
  • Think: Thinking about doing business with you. Asking for recommendations, researching, narrowing down the options.
  • Do: Ready to buy now.
  • Care: Have bought from you not once; but twice. The philosophy at Lands’ End, he said, is that the first purchase could be by accident. The second purchase is by design and makes a loyal buyer who cares.

Do you have a marketing plan specific to each of these segments? It requires thinking about the questions and pain points each has at the four stages and using the right distribution channel to reach them.

For example, your email marketing works really well for the “Care” and the “Think” audience, but if you’re sending them the same messages and haven’t segmented your email list accordingly, you’re missing the mark. Social might do well for all four of your segments, but does your content comprise of a mix for each audiences?

I agree with this approach because it forces marketers to think about audiences instead of distribution channels. Rather than having a social marketing plan, you have a plan for the “See phase,” which includes social, pay per click, direct mail and events, for example.

Your “Think plan” might include email, social, PPC, blog content – but how will your social content and PPC content differ in this phase from the “See phase”?

Content Marketing - Targeted content

And here is where it gets even better: You create a measurement plan that aligns with these four phases that might look something like this:

Conversation: (See) Comments and engagement per post.

Applause: (Think): Likes per post.

Economic Value: (Do): Revenue

Amplification: (Care) Shares and retweets.

This is a gross over-simplification of measurement, but you can read more about that on Avinash’s blog which might be one of the best on measurement and analytics. He’s also written a few books on the topic.

You’ll notice there is no mention of followers and fans here. Followers and fans are of course necessary to achieve any of the above metrics, but shifting the focus to actions like engagement and shares, and purchases forces marketers to keep the tactics directed at what our audience is doing with all the content we are sharing and creating.

There is “no limit to the number of irrelevant eyeballs you can reach” with print advertising, television and taking a broadcast approach to social media. What separates the great marketers from the average is understanding this distinction and basing your marketing strategy on audiences, not distribution channels.

Lisa Gerber is the founder of Big Leap Creative, where she helps organizations and executives take their big leaps by communicating their ideas. 

For more marketing advice from Lisa Gerber, click here.

Image: Digital Ralph (Creative Commons)

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