Mailbag: How to appeal to the right audiences

Blue Sky Factory User Conference 2010

A reader asked: “Working in an agency with multiple clients in multiple industries, how do you differentiate your actions to get the right kind of audience for each industry?”

This is a question that has a simple answer – but bear in mind, as always, that simple does not mean easy. The single most effective way to understand the audience for any given industry or company is to go out and spend a lot of time with that audience.

Attend conferences and trade shows in that industry vertical.

Talk to your customers – really talk to them, not just the simple surface talk. Ask them magic wand questions like “If you had a magic wand and could change one thing about industrial concrete, what would it be?”. Listen carefully to the answers and dig into what they say to see what underlying issues there are behind their responses.

Read industry trade publications. If you haven’t hit up to see what’s being published, you’re missing out.

Interview lifers and long-time employees on how the industry has changed, how the company has changed, how customers have changed.

Once you’ve done all of the research, differentiating your actions on an audience by audience basis becomes clear. You’ll know what the hot topics are, what the longstanding issues are, what’s been tried and what hasn’t worked, and what trends are powering the future of your audience’s industry.

Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology


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