Master of Communication Management

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How to Target an Audience

American businessman Nido Quebin spoke to the importance of identifying and targeting a specific audience when he said, “Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all your energies on a limited set of targets.” No company can satisfy everyone, and any that tries is likely to satisfy no one. Instead, you should target your audience in the following ways.

Identify Your Target Audience

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Image via Flickr by viZZZual.com
You cannot target your audience if you don’t know who your audience includes. That’s why Master of Communication Management graduates understand that identifying the target audience is one of the first steps in any effective communications plan.
Chuck Cohen, entrepreneurship writer for Forbes, says communication managers must determine three things to identify their target. First, determine the needs your product or service satisfies, such as the need to find affordable solutions, ones that pamper, or eco-friendly options. The types of people seeking to fulfill these needs are quite different, so answering this question should help clarify your target audience.
Next, Cohen suggests using a funnel approach, narrowing your audience by gender, age, and income level, for example, until you have a small focused target. Finally, consider your primary value propositions and how these relate to your target. You should refer back to these when crafting your communications. Surveys and focus groups can also help you get a clearer picture, which you can then use to target your audience.

Adjust Your Tone

Corporate communication may be a little different than the face-to-face communications we all engage with on a daily basis, but approaching them in a similar fashion can help you target your audience effectively. Sarah Eva Monroe, the senior creative director for website design firm mStoner, wrote in Gather Content that her company keeps data-informed personas in mind when creating corporate communication campaigns.
Rather than targeting a nebulous audience, she targets a persona representative of that audience, like a hipster student or a stay-at-home mother of three. She considers how her persona might react to the campaigns she creates and adjusts the tone for the best response. This practice is similar to the way you might adjust your tone for chatting with an intimate friend or a business acquaintance.

Send Segmented Emails

Segmented emails are messages that speak to a targeted section of an email list. Marketing firm Smart Insights explains that segmented emails can target people of a specific gender, location, shopping frequency, and other variables. For example, an apparel firm may send an email advertising new season dresses to its female shoppers and the latest shirts to males.
Marketing email firm MailChimp reports that segmented emails have a click-through rate that’s nearly 60 percent higher than non-segmented campaigns. Abuse reports and unsubscribes are also more than 8 percent lower for segmented emails, which shows how well received they are. MailChimp believes segmented emails are such an effective way to target an audience because they deliver relevant information to potential customers.
With clear strategies for targeting your audience in place, you can improve the effectiveness of your communications efforts and boost your rate of return.