Who Are You For?

A simple question that often comes with no simple answers.

Old models no longer have any answers.

Once upon a time traditional models of segmentation, largely based on media purchase, identified categories of people neatly and conveniently.  Using simple demographic measures marketers defined the audience for their products and services in terms of clear target markets.

In the name of pragmatism customers were not viewed as fully realised human beings with a wide range of interests, hopes and fears. Instead they were bound together in these simplistic terms that they would probably never choose to describe themselves.

Because the inconvenient truth (for marketers at least) is that people don’t fit into boxes.

We’re all segment neutral these days.

The more choices we all have, the easier it is for us to spend our days engaged in many, highly varied activities that combine to make us who we are.

People can jump from one ‘segment’ to another in a matter of seconds and the only observable constants are pretty irrelevant when it comes to creating compelling communication.

But. If businesses don’t know who they are for, their ability to engage in relevant and distinctive ways becomes instantly limited.

So, how do you know who you are for?

This is why meaning matters. Because it’s in what a business means to its customers that its value is defined. And when you know the value you create for people, you can start to determine who you are really creating value for.

Identifying and understanding your audience in all its glory enables you to do two things. It lets you make crucial decisions about the most effective channels to us. And it lets you get your content right.

To say the right things, to the right people, in the right places and the right way.

It’s about connecting with real people.

Instead of chasing idealised and simplified versions of people, stereotypes that don’t really exist in any meaningful way, you can begin to make more powerful connections with the real people out there for whom your business really matters.