Can you name your target audience in two words?By
Next week’s podcast is with Kevin Allen, author of a very unique book called The Hidden Agenda: A Proven Way to Win Business and Create a Following. Kevin comes across initially as someone from the Mad Men era. He worked with the McCann World Group, the Interpublic Group, and Lowe Worldwide, where he helped gain Ad Age’s recognition as "Turnaround Agency of the Year" in 2009. Kevin has spent 25 years in advertising and was a key developer of the now iconic Priceless campaign for MasterCard.
Kevin may have spent some time in the Mad Men arena but he has created a space of his own. In the podcast he takes some of the most celebrated idea of advertising such as the word “pitch” and transforms it into today’s vocabulary. An excerpt from the podcast.
Joe: If you find your target audience, a pitch is effective, you connect, you know that right away. How do you find that target audience to pitch to?
Kevin: That’s a great question. I think that over the years, a number of ways that we would define our targets. Still today, I work with a number of companies who still look at functional and descriptive measures to describe the people they’re talking to, sort of women, 25 to 54, in certain counties with certain incomes and so on. But the fact is that community formation, now more than ever, not only say within the U.S. but around the world, community formation is on the basis of belief and value system. It pushes us further to try to figure out a way to develop a definition of our target audience that runs more deeply.
In a way, if you remember from the book, I take a page out of politics, whereby the notion of the conceptual target is a way by which you can develop a powerful emotional definition of your audience. Soccer Mom, for example, was a great one.
In the pursuit of the Marriott business, no matter whether the person was staying at the JW, their topflight property, and spending several hundred dollars a night, or they were staying at Fairfield, the emotional composition of that audience were called Road Warriors, people who are out there selling for their companies.
It’s a terrific way because at the end of the day people come together because of what they believe and how they feel.
Joe: When you’re talking, it seems that you attach a nice conceptual name, that name that just grabs you right away, soccer mom. You identify and you know exactly who that is, who your target audience is, in two words.
Kevin: Well a company that I work with, a dear friend of mine actually, it’s a fantastic company that she runs. She was trying to figure out, "How do I better define the kind of companies that I work with," says this friend of mine. After a weekend of work, we realized that the one of the things that’s common to the people that they really can help are Frustrated Visionaries. That was the term, because they are brilliant at being able to crystallize the pathway for someone with a vision.
You can see that no matter whether their prospect was a small company or a Fortune 500 CEO, they were able to define their audience in an emotional need state term and then connect their product, what they do, to that need state. It’s terrific.
This is a podcast that is, should I say, “Priceless”.
Kevin Allen can be found at KevinAllenPartners.com – The Bookshelf on the website is a very clever idea.
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