The High Cost of NOT Knowing Your Audience

By Deanna DiCristo | December 18, 2014


Know your audience.

It’s the most important thing you need to know in public speaking, writing, performing, selling…well, basically any form of communication.

How that audience is described may be done through a variety of terminology… be it target demographic, target audience, buyer personas, customer insights, the 5 W’s, user or customer or buyer profiles, etc.

But at the end of the day, they all essentially mean the same thing: knowing your audience.

And why is knowing your audience so important?

Simply put, so that what you are communicating is tailored to who is consuming it. If it’s not relevant or interesting to them, they won’t listen.

This isn’t anything new, right? It’s common sense. Marketing 101. But knowing your audience takes time, and for those marketers stuck between trying to operate strategically and just executing day to day, it’s hard to find the time.

But if you stop for a moment and think… about all the tactical marketing efforts implemented day in and day out... and think for a second people might not be listening?... you’ll find the time to get to know your audience.

Of all the terminology mentioned above, buyer persona is one that envelops more than just the market data and facts. It transforms and evolves those facts into relatable persons – providing insight and recognition of who they are, what they need and why. Buyer personas make it easier to comprehend who you are communicating to, so you can market with intent and tailor your messages directly. So your day to day marketing efforts ultimately have the greatest success and chance of generating leads.

This article in CMS Wire addresses just that – encouraging marketers to know their customers better through tools like buyer personas in order to develop content that resonates.

And you simply can’t afford not to know your customers better.

If all those time-consuming marketing programs being executed are ultimately falling flat, that translates to thousands in marketing spend – and no ROI. The high cost of not knowing your audience prohibits your marketing messages from being heard. As marketers, that’s essentially what we do, isn’t it? We’re constantly communicating our services, products and brand to our customers and buyers. Not knowing well who you are communicating to, prohibits you from tailoring those marketing messages accordingly – and widens the delta between customer engagement and company success.

So, how do you achieve greater customer insight?

How do you know your audience? Talk to your customers. Interview them. Make the time to ask them what challenges they face – on a tactical and strategic level. Create a buyer persona (here’s a great infographic on how). Seek to understand what they want to listen to, what they need to know, and what content they ultimately will choose to consume.

Know your audience. You can’t afford not to.

Photo by Matthew Field via Wikimedia, licensed under CC BY-SA

buyer persona template

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