For any company who intends to build an effective marketing operation and maximize your return on investment (ROI) it is important to know exactly who your audience is. There are many pitfalls in not taking the time to target specific audiences before you take your products and services to market, and you could be dooming yourself to failure.
Below you will find four principles that will help you understand exactly how demographic research will increase your ROI and positively impact your business.
Mistake 1: Overspending
Obviously, all businesses want to obtain the biggest bang for their buck. By not understanding your target demographic you might as well throw your money into the trash can and call it a day.
By undertaking demographic research you are targeting the specific group most likely to buy your product or service. From there it is easy to build the correct marketing message for as little money as possible, thereby increasing your ROI and creating a positive impact for your brand.
You might be more successful if you think of marketing as an investment.
I doubt any investor would advise you to invest in a company without doing the research to make sure that company is worth the time. Marketing is the same way, invest some time into research and your money will be well spent.
Mistake 2: Targeting Too Broad an Audience
Many people believe to market effectively you have to reach as broad an audience as possible. There are tons of examples of marketing campaigns that fail because companies fail to understand their target demographic. A few years ago, Gap’s attempt to redesign their image and attract a broader audience (younger, hip customers) lasted a whole two days due to the public backlash. They lost both loyal customers and the target demographic they sought to reach because they didn’t know their audience.
Marketing is most effective when it is targeted.
If your marketing team understands who they are communicating with then they will understand how to communicate with them. The way you talk to a four year old little boy is not the way you talk to a 48 year old Marine drill sergeant. The same is true in marketing. By understanding who you are talking to, you will impact the buying decisions of potential customers.
Mistake 3: Misunderstanding Your Own Expertise
As a matter of pride, most professionals consider themselves experts in their own industry, and it is certainly true for many. However, just because you may be an expert in your industry does not mean you instinctively know how your audience will behave and how they will respond. For instance, the automotive industry has consistently had to reinvent themselves in a process that continues today.
These attempts at reinvention are full of examples of why you should not rely solely upon your own expertise.
Having unbiased professional research is important because it allows you to identify the spectrum of potential customers. You do not want to go to market and realize that an entire demographic you had not anticipated is actually interested in your product.
Mistake 4: Lack of Effective Calls-to-Action
Calls-to-action are the only way to convert prospects into leads. But you can only create effective calls-to-action when you have conducted research on how your target audience will respond. If you know nothing about your target demographic then you cannot make effective calls-to-action.
Once you have researched and understood your target demographic then you can close the loop to convert that audience into customers. Calls-to-action are one of the greatest tools in marketing, but they have to be utilized correctly.
In an age of mass media and niche markets, marketing has become harder and much more time intensive.
Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet that magically makes every marketing campaign successful. Fortunately, if you take the time to do things right, then you will see results even the greatest companies can only dream of achieving. Your effective demographic research will make your marketing efforts shine.