Why is understanding your audience important?

As a business or association when we are riding the highs of success we can forget to reflect on what is driving our achievements. It’s only when the wheels start to fall off – we’re not reaching our profit/turnover targets, a new competitor is opening or we aren’t gaining any new people (customers, members 0r stakeholders) – when we start to question what’s wrong?

In most instances we have lost touch with our audience (the people who fuel our business), who they are, their needs and what they stand for. Although we know they should be at the heart of everything we do, we can get bogged down in the day to day. As soon as this happens our operations start to drive our business strategy, not our customers.

When we end up in this place we are left standing around scratching our heads saying ‘we have tried everything’, ‘it’s the new age, people just aren’t as committed’ or ‘people don’t buy local anymore, there’s too much choice’.

Think again.

Your audience is as committed to a good brand as they have ever been and all you have to do is put some time into understanding who they are and what makes them tick.

So how can we help?

We use a 12 question process to research, audit and analyse demographic and sociological characteristics of your past, present and potential audience (customers, members or stakeholders) creating your target markets aka avatars.

Demographic research gives us the hard facts, those things like gender, age and place of residence. Sociological research greatly enhances these facts by overlaying soft motivations such as their values, interests, spending habits and media use. The process is thorough and its success is driven by the involvement of your employees/volunteers who talk to your audience, in depth research of your industry and the people who like to participate in it.

In essence, the result is a greater understanding of your audience. The greater the businesses understanding of whom you are relying on to fuel your business or association the greater your ability to:

  1. Create a brand your audience will love
  2. Hone your products and services in the market so they will work
  3. Follow market trends with greater confidence
  4. Strategically prioritise your operations within your business

Something so simple will become the heart of your operation, driving your success.

Get in touch today to understand your audience.

 

 

 

How are your core activities performing in the market place?

Creating an engaged audience is not all about communication. You can have the best communication strategy in the world but if you aren’t offering a product or service your audience needs, they will not engage with it.

What do we mean by this?

Your products and services fall into the mix of the actions your business takes to for fill your audience’s needs. They are your core operational activities and drive the business or association’s income stream.

Let’s take a tennis club for example.

Their audience are tennis players (members and non-members) and the committee members. The products they offer are tennis courts and a club house. The services they offer are a regular tennis competition, tennis member services and an annual tournament.

This tennis club has realised their core income stream is reducing because tennis club memberships are in decline. Existing club members are aging and not able to play anymore and they are not attracting new members. They may be blaming people these days for having a lack of commitment.  That it is not the clubs fault – it is the audience’s problem and the club has little to no control.

If this tennis club decided to complete a products and services review it would paint a different picture. They would most likely find they have lost touch with the needs of their audience and secondly their product and service mix is not being worked to its greatest business advantage.

A product and services review and brainstorm looks at:

  • Your competitors (who are they, what do they offer, when do they offer it, why do they offer it and how do they offer it)
  • Changes in existing market conditions and new/emerging markets
  • A review of your core activities
    • Do they add value to the customer?
    • Which activities are succeeding and why?
      • Pricing, marketing, sales, after sales service, design, packaging and systems.
      • Where are the quick wins?
      • What is the long term strategy for the business or association to continue to be viable?
    • Brainstorm possible changes to existing activities and look at new activities to boost revenue.

A product and service review is essential for any business uncertain about how their existing core activities are working in the market to ascertain whether all market gaps are being capitalised on.

It is also a way to ensure your business plan in up to date and relevant in today’s market place. We can help you understand whether you are moving in the right direction and are you responsive to market demands.

It is that simple.

Is a brand strategy important?

The thing about a brand strategy is that everyone needs one. So often people only associate a brand strategy as being relevant to businesses or associations who are selling physical products like appliances, beverages and furniture. The reality is every business needs to ensure they have a strong brand.

A strong brand is a barrier to the competition and positions you in the market to be number one so the audience resolves their needs with you every time. People wear brands, eat them, listen to them, use them and talk about them.

A strong brand will –

  • Set audience expectations
  • Set you apart from the competition
  • Create clarity and focus
  • Provide direction and motivation for your staff
  • Emotionally connect a brand to its audience
  • Convey value
  • Generate referrals

A brand strategy creates the business or association halo. It goes beyond a graphic or a logo and is all that is left when marketing has swept through the room. The branding underlies all of the marketing effort.

“It is what sticks in your mind associated with a product, service or organisation.”

What we forget is a good brand doesn’t just happen, it is well thought out and this is where your brand strategy comes in.

A brand strategy involves:

  • Identifying your brand promise
  • Defining your brands personality
  • Creating your brands market positioning
  • Clarifying your points of difference

The process involves matching your audience’s needs with your business or associations passion (why you are doing what you are doing).

The result is a strong sense of identity which should be used to communicate in all marketing support material such as your website, logo, advertising, and flyers etc. It creates consistent, easy to understand communication assisting in driving audience participation.

A powerful exercise with amazing results.