Companies are frequently obsessed with the idea of appealing to “everyone”. Doesn’t matter whether it is required by a battalion of stakeholders, or an absolutely incompetent chief marketing officer, it always ends the same way. And clearly not a successful one.
The deal is that attempting to address multiple audiences usually looks like yelling with a loudspeaker in front of a crowd. Hoping everybody will pay attention, but in reality, having only a couple of bored random passersby listening to your scream. (And still, there are no guarantees they actually like it).
In fact, no brand on Earth can appeal to “everyone”. Because every business without exception targets specific demographics. And no matter how hard you try, you won’t sell your product to baby boomers if it had been initially designed for Gen Y.
Even though developing a marketing strategy that echoes across the vast business landscape can be difficult, it is still doable. So before you give up on your cherished dreams and kill your brand positioning with ineffective customer communications, take a look at these four companies. And do not forget to take notes.
Airbnb is a great example of targeting opposite audiences. No wonder it has become an outstanding global brand so quickly and got a reputation of one of the most booming startups in the last couple of years.
They have two main targets to reach. The travelers — market segment that involves people who enjoy traveling at a reasonable price and do not want to spend all of their money in a hotel room. And the hosts — owners or renters who are willing to get some profit out of an unoccupied space or simply meet interesting people.
So what do Airbnb marketers do to address both segments at the same time? Well, it is pretty basic: they keep it centralized. One domain, one platform, one app — equally suitable for travelers and hosts. All they need to do is just select the role and find the content suitable specifically to their needs.
Since the platform has to meet the needs of wildly diverse audiences, it requires a massive, ever-shifting content strategy to satisfy the needs of each group. But by designing a smart UI design that intercepts users upon arrival, Airbnb completely reduces user friction and alleviates customer journey.
Therefore if you decide to abandon all your microsites and stick to one coherent platform, that is a nice way to go. Divide it into two parts and make sure the content is useful and accessible for both sides. Remember: mixing it up and overloading customers with irrelevant information is the worst thing you could ever do to your brand website.
Just like Airbnb, the target audience of this brand is split into two opposite camps. An apartment rentals website Rentberry operates simultaneously with tenants and landlords. But unlike the previous example, Rentberry marketers have decided to separate the wheat from the chaff.
The company has created an independent blog Landlord’s Tips to provide guidance for real estate owners. And you know what? It works perfectly well: primary audience, namely the tenants, is still first and foremost, whereas B-Audience isn’t completely left aside.
The landlords get their share of attention: comprehensive guides on various aspects of renting, market insights and useful advice. Plus it helps them to keep cards close to the chest, without revealing all the rental nuances and secrets. Meanwhile, the tenants have an opportunity to find the necessary information on the main website.
Therefore, if you feel that your audiences are totally incompatible, provide them with two separate platforms and build content specifically for each group. Again, do not try to create a “melting pot”. No one has benefited yet from confused customers.
This 130-year-old company has a long and extensive experience of working with multiple audiences. Since it was founded in 1889, it has transitioned from serving simple can-do people to fulfilling all the latest needs of fashion-forward teens. One fine day the brand found itself caught in the cross-fire and decided to take different paths for different segments of customers.
The brand created various products to meet the needs of each target group individually.
Overalls with pockets for farmers, jackets with slanted pockets to match the angle of their arms on horseback for cowboys, selvage denim for vintage lovers and even jeans with athletic-inspired waistbands for dancers.
Take notice, they do not attempt to sell all at once. Instead, Lee Jean’s marketers have accurately tailored the brand message to the individual audiences as appropriate and emphasizing the benefits relevant to each category. Moreover, the company made the communications fit under the overall brand position.
And that is unquestionably hell of a job! It takes a lot of courage, hard work and, determination for the brand. So if you are not feeling ready to invest your time, skill and effort, better narrow the audience and reduce your appetites.
Unilever’s targeted social media campaigns for Dove soap also show us that reaching different audiences requires different approaches. In this particular case, they decide to choose multiple channels, reaching contrasting groups through various platforms.
Unilever sure does its research on potential consumers. They know exactly how to (not) advertise to millennials, what are the values of Generation Z and what is essential to modern mothers. That is why they influence millennials via Facebook, find progressive moms on YouTube, target Gen Z on Snapchat and not vice versa.
The company masterfully engages youngsters with branded filters and VR, launches a new ad featuring examples of real moms and skillfully applies user-generated content to millennials. As a result, they get a great response and increase sales dramatically. And that is no coincidence or luck.
Dove marketers just know who their consumers are: what they love, hate, eat for breakfast and worry about. Hence, analyze your clients carefully and do not forget to identify their needs in the first place. Also, pay attention to the influencers your customers follow and learn how to use them in your marketing strategies.
So what is worth taking note about these four examples? Well, first of all, you can’t serve multiple audiences unless you figure out what they want and find a proper way to reach them. Do not rely on assumptions and instincts — examine raw data and use it to your advantage.
Second of all, do not let minor target groups out of your sight. For instance, if you are selling B2B software-as-a-service solutions, make sure your platform is suitable not only for the potential users but also for the executives and the procurement representative who will be approving the purchase.
Third of all, use various channels. Many companies feel overwhelming pressure to be everywhere at once. But if you work with multiple audiences, there are no other options — millennials won’t wait for your website to become mobile-friendly as well as Gen Z will never respond to your TV commercial.
Therefore be consistent, pay attention to every target group and get to know your customer. As soon as you have an in-depth understanding of consumer’s needs and motivations, you will be able to handle as many audiences as you wish.