Week 4: Who are you talking to?

This week we are going to lay the foundation for our social media strategy by getting to know our audience.

Last week we discussed the transition in marketing from impersonal broadcast messages to a narrow personal approach.  From our discussion of the Clutetrain Manifesto, I think it’s safe to say that we’re all in agreement that the latter approach is more effective.

Coca Cola’s “Liquid and Linked” strategy is a strong example of how a consumer product can use natural conversation to propel its brand.  By moving towards the “markets are conversations” model, Coca Cola sets some lofty goals (doubling their business and owning a disproportionate share or pop culture).

So, how do you start a conversation?

Start by knowing and understanding who you are talking to.

Seems obvious right?

Successful marketing campaigns start with an understanding of who you are communicating with.  It’s a bad idea to start by asking “what do we want to communicate about our product and organization?”  The better question: “What does my audience desire? What need do they have that my product or service fulfills?”

You must understand your audience’s desires and behaviours before really determining your social media campaign messaging (any campaign for that matter) and the tools/platforms you will use.

So, where do you start researching to understand your audience? The first step is understanding basic market segmentation (watch the nifty video!).  From there we can dig a bit deeper in demographics and psychographics.  Going deeper still we can look a consumer purchasing patterns and basic consumer behaviour. This article by DemoAnalytics provides a great overview of the terms mentioned with a critical/reflective view of these marketing practices. It’s a must read. In particular I love how it reiterates a point I’ll be making in my lecture: don’t get caught up thinking you have to spend loads of money to do this, there are free resource, and actually “instinct” is a remarkably reliable guide!

With an understanding of your market segmentation, demographics, psychographics, and consumer behaviour, you can put together a “customer avatar” or “marketing persona”.  

This week in my lecture I define the concepts noted above and introduce you to the method I’ve used to define and understand audiences.  I’ll share with you my “ideal customer avatar” worksheet and go over a few examples of my ideal customers, and prepare you to get started!

Download  Week 4 ICA Lecture 1 Narrated.

Or download the Week 4 ICA Lecture PDF

You’ll also need to download the ICA worksheet for your assignment. ICA Worksheet Edit

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