As marketers, we talk about audience as the foundation of all marketing campaigns. Who we’re talking to, why we’re talking to them, when we’re talking to them—it all goes into the mix, not just for building an audience, but for defining and refining a target audience.
Recently, I had an epic fail.
Last week I attended the Cannabis Business Summit & Expo in San Jose. It was our inaugural cannabis convention and my first time in California. So, what did I have to do? Not go to a dispensary. Not explore downtown or venture an hour to San Francisco.
Audience is the foundation of all marketing campaigns
I had to get an In-N-Out Burger. And I had to get it Animal® Style. I didn’t know what that meant, but I had to have it.
As soon as I touched down in San Jose, I got a call from one of the potential clients I had traveled to see, suggesting we meet after dinner. Perfect. I was free and clear to get my burger.
It seemingly made great fodder for our introductory conversation, and I went on and on about the Animal® Style and the fresh cut fries...
He chuckled a bit, and tells me he’s been a vegetarian for the last 20 years.
I just tried to sell a burger to a vegetarian.
I just tried to sell a burger to a vegetarian
I could have talked endlessly about how delicious the burger was going to be, the low cost of the burger, the other products I was going to buy besides the burger to make the meal that much better. In marketing language, I could have demonstrated value and connected with my audience at the benefit level.
But any attempt to be a thought leader and educate him about the product wasn’t going to resonate.
Why would it? He doesn’t eat burgers. The likelihood of convincing him to eat burgers is slim. Wouldn’t all that effort have been better served directed at his partner, who actually eats burgers?
Marketing is not just about the audience, it’s about the individual
Lesson learned. Marketing is not just about the audience, it’s about the individual. You can be the best company with the brightest minds, putting out the highest quality products and services—and really knowing how to convey your worth. But, if your core messaging is addressed to the wrong person, it will not only fall short of the results you’re looking for, but may also turn them off for good.
No matter how exceptional you think it is, they will not spend $25 on an Uber for the $5 burger.