Whether it's preparing for a speech, presentation, or your next social post, knowing your audience is a must. Too often, in sales and marketing, we think about and prioritise the message we want to put out in the world.
It would be naive to throw our objectives out the window, after all, businesses are commercial entities. However, focussing purely on our objectives without considering our audience's wants, needs and motivations mean messages are likely to miss the mark.
Understanding our audience, beyond demographics is where marketers, salespeople, communicators have an opportunity to connect. Relevance is defined as, the quality or state of being closely connected or appropriate. There cannot be relevance, persuasion or connection without understanding. Taking the time to first define and then understand our audience is the only way to impact or change thinking.
As a communicator, you will have your own goals. Perhaps you’re an executive and you have an important message that you need the rest of the company to hear. Maybe you’ve designed a new product that you want your customers to get excited about. Getting clear on your own communication goals is important because then you can evaluate if your goals line up with your audience’s goals. If they do, that’s great — and you can start crafting your communication. But sometimes they won’t. When this happens, it’s your job to figure out how to close the gap and persuade the audience that your goals can — and should — be their goals, too. I’m not talking about manipulation or asking you to trick people into thinking something different. What I am advocating is that you work to understand your audience well enough to know how they make decisions and what kind of information they need to have to be persuaded of their own accord.