Marketing is the fuel that ensures your branding lands in the right place. It provides the materials needed for the sales department to make conversions. It helps to build visibility for your brand, as well as to deliver your brand message, in the right language, to the right people.
In order for your marketing to land, your target audience must be receptive to hearing your message. If they’re not, you could experience difficulty with their minds opening to what you have to say.
Some target audiences are more inflexible than others. Millennials, for instance, are far less receptive to marketing messages than Traditionalists, Baby Boomers or the members of Generation X.
Other audiences are particularly stubborn regarding marketing messages—because they’ve been burnt in the past or because believing in those messages did not yield what they expected…or worse.
So what is a determined brand-builder to do when your ideal customers are not open to receiving new marketing messages? The temptation to give up on advertising can be strong; however, then your message will never be delivered to the people who will prove most pivotal to its success. Instead, I suggest following the advice I’m about to share.
How to Open Your Target Audience’s Minds to Your Message
Today’s consumers believe themselves to be too intelligent to ‘fall for marketing ploys.’ This has gone so far that even if the marketing message is legitimate, buyers self-protect by convincing themselves that there couldn’t possibility be anything ‘in it for them,’ that ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it is,’ and that anything that seems even remotely appealing is probably a ‘bait and switch.’ This is the result of scam marketing; and now, legitimate brand-builders are paying the price.
Today’s consumers are far less receptive to marketing messages than they had been in the past. And what are brand builders and marketers doing to combat this opposition? Surprisingly, they’re publishing MORE advertising campaigns.
If you’re thinking this sounds like a bad idea, you’re right, and you might be wondering what your other options could be.
How can you punch your message through the resistance?
Here are some tactics I have found to be effective:
- Set up your ideal customer to find your brand. In general, today’s consumers do not like to be found. They would rather find your brand…or at least feel like they’re responsible for discovering it. There’s a prevalent belief that says if a marketer reaches you, he or she must have a sinister reason for being in your television, radio, newspaper or social media feed. That’s why it’s important that you set up your brand to be found by all the right people—so that when your ideal customer searches for what you provide, there you are…found by them. This gives a distrustful consumer a feeling of control. In their minds, they’re not being tracked or pursued. They are in the driver’s seat.
- Provide laser-like relevance. Today’s consumer is quick to come to the conclusion that any given advertisement is not relevant to them. They have learnt to disregard anything that isn’t all about them, their specific needs, the state of the world they’re living in at the moment…and there’s nothing wrong with that—except that this makes it more difficult for you to serve them with your marketing messages. Generate a tight focus on your target audience. At least for now, as you’re starting to build visibility, forget about speaking to those on the fringes (the ones who have the problem you’re solving, but who have it with varying degrees of severity or changeable specifics), and centre only on pedigreed, out-and-out ideal customers. And then, as you craft and communicate your marketing message, maintain laser-like focus on their specific needs so they can easily see that you’re speaking directly to them.
- Promise to give them more than your product. Your product is not only enough to make your ideal customer’s life better, it will provide positive, over-the-top value. You know this; however, it’s going to take some convincing (and some time) for your target audience members to realise this. That means you’re going to have to incentivise them—give them something extra to enhance your value proposition. This could be membership in an exclusive club, a discount on other services, access to one-on-one consultation…or whatever is important to your ideal customer. Remember that they need to know that what they’re getting far outweighs what they’re spending (in money, time and effort). The best way to make sure this equation is calculated in your favour is to weight it heavily on the plus
- Be a partner in bucking the system. If you feel that your ads are being ignored because your brand is viewed as part of ‘the system,’ there’s one surefire way to remedy that: Make sure it’s evident that you’re not part of the broader organisation of marketers that just ‘don’t get it.’ Make it clear to your audience that you understand their frustrations, and that you’re not like the rest. I understand that there may not be anything wrong with the way your industry is marketing itself; however, it’s crucial to your brand’s success that you acknowledge frustrations, giving weight to your ideal customers’ concerns—because even if those concerns are not substantial (or even real) to you, they are significant to them.
I have lots more advice for navigating the tricky landscape that we call marketing, however, I think we’ve run out of space here. The advice I’ve given you is enough to get you started with communicating in a new and more effective way. Put these tips to work in your advertising campaigns, and you will begin to notice a marked difference in the responses you get, as well as the brand visibility you enjoy.
Have questions? Contact How to Build a Brand. Want to learn more about how to build your brand’s credibility, visibility and profitability? Then look into the B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp, a one-day branding experience in which you’ll not only learn to build a brand, you’ll learn to give it the type of fuel that took my business from £0 to £18,000 per month in just 12 weeks. Click here to learn more and to register.