Your KLT Factor: Know Your Audience

The Tour De France is finally done! I loved it. It regularly amazes me that these cyclists ride what equates to a marathon each day for 21 days! Of course the marketer in me also marvels at the clarity of the target audience: a 30-something male who likes bikes and beer. While I don’t fit this ideal viewer, I do appreciate the show’s purposeful positioning and clear marketing perspective.

NBC Sports was not trying to be everything to everybody. The race has a niche and while it does attract many many outliers like me, they are clearly focused on their target. Take a look around and you will see this same clarity with most leading brands and products.

Professionals in the financial services industry, you also need to understand the segment you serve best and target your marketing and social media presence accordingly. While you may like to think you serve everyone, you know there is a vast difference between the small business client and the large corporation with stockholder scrutiny.

People do business with people they know, like and trust (KLT). Much of the knowing piece is really a two-way street; do you know your audience and do they know you?

To really know your audience, you must first step into their shoes by thinking about their persona. Consider the following:

  • Who are you selling to now?
  • What are their common characteristics (business type and size)? What are their specific concerns or problems (pain points)?
  • What are their communication preferences?

You may find that your clients fit into a couple segments, not just one, but that’s okay. You can communicate much more effectively if you can break your audience down into a couple segments rather than feeling like you have to consider the entire universe! Perhaps you have C-suite groups, HR managers, and small business owners to consider. Look for common threads and issues.

Likewise, your segments may prefer different communication vehicles. Some may respond to emails, while others like posts on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.

Once you figure out your audience then you need to make sure your clients and prospects know you and your firm. What exactly is your position in the marketplace and how do you address those client concerns. Remember, your audience wants to know the real you, but they also want to know how you are going to help them.

Use their preferred communication methods to address client needs with thoughtful articles you write or content you curate and share. Effective client communication is not about selling; it’s about giving.

I also think that many advisors worry about targeting toward one group and risk alienating other populations. This should be addressed as well. Business decisions require courage and focus. You can’t be all things to all people, or you’ll just water down your message to oblivion. Imagine if you ONLY did financial plans for bike stores? (Granted it would be a very small market, AND you could own that market online in a very short period of time.)