That is a question everyone at Highbrid Media is required to ask themselves before investing time or money in any activity. Who is "Becky" you ask? She is no one in particular, and yet the most important person in our business. "Becky" represents our target consumer. We branded her, (yes she is a female) upon the recent advice of Carissa Reiniger (@CarissaReiniger) owner of Silver Lining LTD, and the brains behind her SLAP methodology. Without getting too in depth, her coaching model focuses her client's attention on how every action will positively or adversely affect its ability to sell to "James," or her target consumer.
This methodology is one, that as a marketer, truly resonates with us. The first question we always ask business owners, large and small, during our discovery phase is: Who is your target market? Far too often the answer is simply "EVERYONE!" The problem is, if that were the correct answer, we'd all be billionaires and have no problem shooting a bulls-eye in archery.
Your target must be more specific than that. It must effectively communicate to your entire organization who she is, where she lives, married?, how many kids, how old, how she gets around, where she buys her groceries, even the TV she watches and books she reads. Why? Because more accurately defining your target allows you to invest more time and money in pursuing this person who you've identified as most likely to buy and less invested in those who aren't. Let me introduce you to "Becky" so you can get a clearer idea.
Becky is a female media directors at a Media Agency whose yearly local advertising budget is in excess of $5 Million, of which a large percentage is earmarked for outdoor and or guerrilla marketing. More specifically she works one or more accounts in the top 10 outdoor advertising industries. These include:
• MISC SERVICES & AMUSEMENTS • INSURANCE & REAL ESTATE • COMMUNICATIONS • PUBLIC TRANS., HOTELS & RESORTS • MEDIA & ADVERTISING • RETAIL • RESTAURANTS • FINANCIAL • AUTOMOTIVE DEALERS & SERVICES • AUTOMOTIVE, AUTO ACCESS & EQUIP
She may plan and spend client dollars in the general marketplace but has a budget allocated specifically for marketing their clients' messages to the ethnic community. She is Republican and is 24-36 years of age earning between $54,000 and 80,000. She has a bachelor’s degree with 5 to 10 years of field experience and may have recently received or is currently working on her MBA. Becky is an emulators and achievers- She is motivated and career minded and is seen by her superiors as a promising talent and valuable asset to maintaining and growing their client's business. Generally she works 50-60 hours weekly and is overworked and underpaid.
Becky does not own a car and uses taxis and mass transit to navigate the city which she funds using her company expense account. She almost never answers her telephone as she is inundated with cold calls and is most accessible via email and to that end relies heavily on her smartphone. After work she often frequents a regular bar close to the workplace with co-workers to unwind from a busy day or week. She is un-married or soon-to-be, who still vacations in party destinations or romantic vacations with her significant other. She doesn’t watch much television given her busy schedule and may watch most of her important programs via DVR. Becky lives in a small apartment in Manhattan or Brooklyn places buys for clients whose primary focus is reaching ethnic consumers who live in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx or Northern Jersey.
Sound detailed? It is and should be. As a society inundated with all types of stimuli not available to us even 20 years ago, our focuses must be even more fine tuned. Time and money are are the two most valuable natural resources to a business and choosing to spend time chasing down unqualified consumers is reckless and the best way to ensure your demise. Avoid this rut by spending time getting to know your best customers.
Survey them. Perhaps offer them a reward for their input. Although you should already know everything about them, its always great to ask. Take notes and ask as many questions as you think will help you know them better.
Write a detailed description. Define sex, age, geography, occupation, race, marital and family status, socioeconomic status psychographics, political affiliations etc. Be as specific as possible
DRILL! Make sure everyone in your organization, or on your team, knows your "Becky" cold. Its vital that, although hypothetical, everyone knows her like a family member. Its important to review your description regularly to ensure your actions reflect a focus on reaching her.
ACT. There is nothing worse than planning without action. You can have the most well defined "Becky" or Susan" or "Jim" or "Bob," but if you're not working toward meeting her every time you pick up the phone or leave the office, you're doing yourself a disservice. Your entire marketing efforts should be focused on meeting and building a relationship with him or her.