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Blog: Know your audience

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Blog: Know your audience

AKRON — Besides grammar and ethics, one of the most important things you learn in journalism school is to “Know your audience.”

This is imperative because if you are not paying attention to who you are writing for and not just the specific topic you are writing about, you are missing the point. Your work, in essence, is for them: the readers.

While I take this seriously in my professional career, I also started using it in my personal life as well. Because ultimately, don’t we all need to understand who is on the other side of our conversations to ensure we are getting the right message across?

I think this is one of the best slivers of advice anyone can get. As a small business owner, it is definitely one to take with you. If your ads target various demographics without taking into consideration the way those groups would want to receive the information, are you showing those customers you want their business?

Think of it this way: In your everyday life, would you keep bringing up the same topic repeatedly, in the same manner to someone who has never shown interest in the topic? Maybe, but it probably does not get you very far.  

I think one of the biggest flaws I see in marketing in the auto and tire industries is forgetting to appeal to your female customers. Jody Devere, founder of Inc., spoke at the International Tire Exhibition & Conference this summer and said women account for roughly 78 percent of the vehicles brought into service or tire shops and 60 percent of passenger tires sold.

Do you think you market to women adequately? Maybe you do. I have seen some huge strides in this area even in the two-and-a-half years I have been in the industry. However, maybe you are advertising to women the way you think they want and not the way they really desire.

There are plenty of advertisements I see out there that clearly are trying to target to women, but it is clear they have no idea what women are looking for in a brand.

I always find it interesting to watch the ads on TV that are supposed to be targeted at women, but pitch this perfect image of a woman doing housework or cooking...or show a woman in a suit taking on the business world.

I cook almost every single night, but if my Crock-Pot was broken, I would be lost. That is not to say that I don’t enjoy the more complicated meals I do the other nights, but my life does not fit into a cookie-cutter mold.

It is not one part of my life or the other; it’s blending those pieces together. It seems that in most advertising, women are either shown as career-driven or family-oriented, but most of the women I know tackle both of those molds.

However, knowing your audience goes far beyond if your customer is female or male, young or old, etc. I think if you sit back and try to really figure out who your audience is, in reference to any demographic you serve, it will go a long way. It is all about appealing to the consumer and the potential customers.

Think about this quote often attributed to Albert Einstein: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Learn about what your customers like and don’t assume because something has always worked, that it will automatically work forever. (That is not to say to give up on them completely as they are working for some of your customers.)  It might be as simple as talking with them. Times are changing, peoples’ interests are changing and if you are not changing, you are missing the boat.

Plus, with the technology out there today, it is a lot easier for even the small business to collect data. Forbes put out a great article in September about how knowing your audience is the key to success. This is a great read to check out when trying to strategize your research campaigns.


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TB Reader Poll

Previous | Published March 18, 2019

Where can you expect to see the most growth in 2019?

Tire sales
45% (34 votes)
General automotive service
15% (11 votes)
Brakes, shocks and other undercar services
7% (5 votes)
Add-on business
15% (11 votes)
Anywhere we can get it.
19% (14 votes)
Total votes: 75
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