Why Audience Relationship Is Crucial To Your Marketing Success

The content marketers among us know it’s no longer the age of Mad Men making sexy and fairly irrelevant big-budget advertising campaigns happen for an audience limited to 2-3 channels and 2-3 content types with 2-3 competitors. Today, you have to publish sexy, relevant, educational, inspiring, funny, sharable, engaging, and smart content that works for 2 gabillion channel and platform combinations, more competitive product options than anyone will ever need, and for an audience with an average attention span of 2.8 to 8 seconds. Oh, and is there a Virtual Reality application for that?

Easy, no? Doable? Well, it has to be. The age of build it and they will come, is gone. Today’s consumer is way too savvy and content-saturated to be pulled in by drivel. (I’m not sure how that explains reality TV, but it may be fair to say that reality TV defies explanation anyway.) It’s no longer a 1-2 touch conversion process. Our digital audience has gotten wise to flashy brand promises that come shackled to terrible experiences like being email-hounded to buy all the new things or spending an hour every week to update that bug-ridden product that was released too soon. As brand and product marketers, we are now in relationships with our consumers whether we like it or not. And that means investing in that relationship.

Shoestring Budget, Space Odessey Needs

lunar-cannonHow do you make the most of a smaller than optimal budget while creating content that actually delights your target audience, creates relationship, and moves the needle in the right direction? You may need to focus your marketing mission on one goal — land that moon shot.

If you don’t have enough budget to do a good job everywhere, focus your budget into doing a great job in one place. You don’t want to be even a fraction of an inch off when you’re creating this strategy, so knowing your segment insights will be the lynchpin for success.

  1. Get to know your audience. Listen in on their conversations. Figure out what impacts their world. Identify their true needs and emotional drivers.
  2. Make an amazing (bug-free) product that solves a problem or emotional need.
  3. Figure out what differentiates your product from the rest.
  4. Cast your audience as the hero of your brand story.
  5. Create a great story about your audience using that differentiating feature to become the hero of their… company, family, peer group, team, community… whatever it is your product would impact in their world.
  6. Go where your audience already lives and start telling the story.
  7. Focus on owning that one audience-preferred channel and really getting it right.
  8. Wait for your user momentum to ignite your omni-channel plan.
  9. Stay attuned to customer success and feedback. When you’re growing your audience, those are going to be rich areas for story development.

When you get one channel nailed, you’ll know what works for your target audience. And that’s when you can recreate the experience on other channels and expand your reach.