For best success, know your audience
Marketing is most successful when the efforts are directed at a specific group – single parents, engineers, company owners, etc. Many programs or projects immediately start in the wrong direction because the marketing team uses their own personal habits and experiences as a reference point on how their target audience acts.
Strangely enough, even though it is an obvious pitfall the way I’ve described it, for most marketers it happens without conscience thought. One of the biggest examples in the past few years is social media. We’ve all heard the news reports describing the wide usage of Google+, Facebook, Twitter, etc, but that information is rarely defined. Penton’s Design Group authored two different studies over the past few years that confirmed only 20 percent of OEM engineers and managers were using traditional social media tools for business (two separate studies over 16 months with a sample size of more than 1,000 completed surveys). That 20 percent total was reported in both studies while consumer usage of social media was skyrocketing…..the key issue is having data from the target audience and not a different group.
Dennis Jensen is Associate Publisher for Machine Design and Regional Manager for Penton Design Group. He has held marketing and sales positions in the United States and Europe for his entire career. Dennis is also known for giving presentations at conferences and sales meetings about business development operations targeted at engineers and managers.