In crafting all your marketing materials tune your message to your ideal audience. Whether it’s an ad on Google or a sign out front, you want the ideal prospects to feel like it was written just for them. So, why not write it just for them?
First, you’ll have to figure out who “they” are. For example, let’s say your making a sign to draw college students into your store. Imagine your favorite student customers, or what perfect student customers might be like. Then, narrow it down and imagine a single ideal student customer. Give this ideal a name, an age, and some hobbies. What are they like? What interests them? What gets under their skin? Who do they vote for? Do they have any pets?
Create your own Avatar, as local marketing guru Howie Jacobson calls it. (He took a group of us through this exercise for Google Adwords a few weeks back.) So, you have this three-dimensional idea of your ideal prospect. Now, imagine they’re about to read your sign. What’s going through their head? Maybe they have just walked in your store and are making up their mind. What are they concerned with as they see your sign?
Grab a sheet of paper and write for three minutes. Write their internal “diary” as they are about to look at your new sign. Taking a few minutes to put the words on paper can help you really flesh things out. Think about what brought them in, what they want, and what they don’t want. Then write a short stream of consciousness diary for them.
Now you have your target. Write your sign or other marketing message to appeal directly to your diary author. Use your copy to help them get what they want faster and wash away their worries. If they’re thinking about options when they come in, then give them a handy guide to their choices on your sign. If they’re worried about their purchase holding up, then show off your guarantee. If they have a specific price point in mind, then pump your low sale price. You get the picture.
A little imagination can go a long way, so don’t forget to explore things from the perspective of your ideal prospect. You can make a few avatars to cover the different kinds of ideal prospects you have. You can use this technique for any of your marketing message, from in-store signage to e-mail newsletters.
This post first appeared in my Small Business Email Newsletter