The Importance of Understanding Your Audience for Stronger Communication
The Importance of Understanding Your Audience for Stronger Communication

Written by Katy Goshtasbi

Posted on: September 4, 2018

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Understanding Your Audience, People holding up message signs

When I first started my second career a decade ago, it was because it was so important to me to be of service to professionals. In fact, it was so important for me to be of service, that I refused to discriminate and identify a target audience for myself. I wasn’t focused on the importance of understanding my audience, so I didn’t have strong communication with them.
 
I wanted to help everyone and anyone! It wasn’t so much that I was desperate for business and/or money, I just wanted to go out there and do good. Pretty noble of me, right? Well, yes and no. While it was noble of me to want to help others and thereby not develop a target audience, in the end it hurt more than it helped.
 

How?

If you don’t have a target audience, then how can you identify who you want to communicate with? If you don’t understand your audience, then how can you communicate well with them? Case in point. Every dentist that I ask the question, who is their target audience, always gives me the same (bad) answer. Every dentist claims that their target audience are “people with teeth.” How wonderful, right? The world is their oyster and their potential patient pool is unlimited. Wrong. No dentist, no matter how successful or profitable, has enough marketing money and time to spend on a target audience identified as “people with teeth”. How can they? That audience is too broad. It’s almost overwhelming just thinking about it.
 
Let’s take a different perspective on dentistry and a possible target audience. What if we identified their target audience as military families, for instance. Presumably, the dentist already has a connection and understanding to military families, hence why the dentist chose this audience. Even so, more knowledge is necessary. The next step in brand development is to go out there and learn all about military families. The dentist must learn about what brings them pain, what they have in common with the dentists’ own brand and story and most importantly, what this emotional connection means to them when they seek out dental care.Is the dentist done now? No. Only now is the dentist able to communicate in a strong manner with the target military audience. Now the dentist knows the military audiences’ needs and wants.
 
The dentist and the military audience have a much stronger chance of connecting on common points when the dentist communicates with the military audience by bringing up their needs and wants and pain points. The dentist can now legitimately position the dental brand as the solution for this military audience.
 

What does this mean for you? Stop and consider:

– When was the last time you thought about who you serve and how you serve them? This applies to you even if you are an employee in a small or large organization.

– Do you truly know and understand your target audience? If not, why not?

– Have you stopped to research and really get to know your target audience? What do they have in common with you and your own personal brand?

 
For more support on how you can communicate your brand to a target audience that suits your purposes and goals, please download this guide.

 

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