Resound has some really distinct personalities.
People here are very passionate about various topics. For example, Stephanie has a (debatably unhealthy) obsession with all things Disney. Others, like Ben, love talking about anything as long as I laugh at their jokes (which is pretty easy).
One of my things is relationships. I care very much about forming, maintaining, and growing meaningful relationships. Because that’s a value I possess, I strive to communicate with my fellow Resounders in ways that will deepen my relationship with each of them.
When I talk to Stephanie, I ask her for advice on my upcoming trip to Disneyland, and I avoid asking her how she thinks Kurt Warner is spending his retirement. Ben and I spend most of our time together referencing hilarious scenes from random movies.
I try to avoid talking to Mike altogether.
Isn’t our role as marketers basically the same?
Simply put, we want to communicate in ways that facilitate the forming, maintenance, and growth of meaningful relationships between our brand and customers.
New relationships mean new customers. Maintaining current relationships means repeat customers. Growing relationships means customers using your company for wider range of products and services. Sounds a lot like the marketing department’s territory, doesn’t it?
The same way I strive to communicate in ways that Stephanie and Ben will appreciate, we marketers should be striving to communicate in ways that delight our audiences. That might look like choosing topics that are relevant to our audience, like I do with Stephanie. Or it might mean using communication styles and devices that are appreciated by our audience, like I do with Ben.
Where we get it wrong
We have a saying around here:
“If you aim for everyone you’ll hit no one.”
What we see out in the wild are marketers creating messages and content that is trying to appeal to everyone. As a result their content means nothing to no one. It flops.
You’ve probably seen this kind of marketing too. You may have even done it. It’s okay, we still think you’re remarkable.
How to create content that delights
The first step to creating content that is relevant, meaningful, and delightful for your audience is this: know your audience.
Many marketers are operating on hunches about who their audience is. Hunches are nice if you’re Igor, but otherwise I recommend trying to avoid them. Do research. Pull your Google Analytics data. Send out a survey. Talk to your customers. You need to know exactly who your audience is.
Next, segment your audience by creating 2–6 primary segments. These segments will look different based on the specific company and may, for example, fall along lines of gender, age, location, or economic status. Maybe there is a new market you want to pursue: make it a new segment!
Once you have clearly defined audience segments, create user personas. These personas are fictional characters that represent an entire audience segment. They put a name and face to what would otherwise be an abstract group of people. Assign them concrete demographic information, such as age, education, income, and job title. Then go a level deeper and assign each persona some psychographic data such as what motivates them, what their goals are, or what kind of decision maker they are.
Finally, create content aimed toward ONE user persona. Here is where the principle comes into action. If you aim at all 6 personas you’ll create content that doesn’t mean anything significant to any of them. However, if you choose one (and only one) persona you’ll hit a bullseye.
When I create content for specific user personas, I literally copy and paste the entire persona at the top of the page. That way, I have a picture and description of the exact person I am writing for. Writing marketing emails becomes much less like writing marketing copy, and much more like writing to a friend.
Go, Ye Therefore and Do
Delighting your audience is just around the corner. Go, research your audience, define segments, create personas, and begin creating meaningful content. You can do it!
Helping brands define their audience is one of the most significant things we do at Resound. If you need a partner to walk through this process with you let me know. We have workshops designed just for this.