Take a Moment to Refine your Ideal Audience:
IS YOUR “TARGET AUDIENCE” OR “NICHE” DISCRIMINATORY?
At Amy Jacobus Marketing, we’re obsessed with making marketing decisions and creating communications assets by deeply considering your ideal client’s point of view.
But what if your notions of your ideal client are prohibiting you from reaching a diverse audience?
That wouldn’t be good.
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In the arts marketing course I designed for the University of Denver, my students are tasked with creating a social media marketing plan for a made-up arts event at a museum, dance festival or local theatre company.
As part of their marketing plan, they need to develop an audience profile—a description of the demographics and psychographics of their ideal audience members or visitors.
This is an exercise I do with all of my clients, and suggest to all participants in my Confident + Consistent Marketing program…
If you don’t know who you’re marketing to, how can you decide how you’ll market at all?
In my Denver course, one of the discussion questions I ask as they develop their audience profile is:
What are some disadvantages of defining your audience for your social media campaign?
I ask this question, because I’m hoping it prompts a class discussion and examination of how determining demographics of their ideal audience member could be classist, sexist, racist or otherwise discriminatory.
It usually prompts a discussion around “missing out” on potential audiences. Individuals who don’t fall into their descriptions. But it’s rare someone comes right out to say: these demographics might exclude potential audience members based on race, gender or other identifying factors.
In my newly pledged commitment to embrace uncomfortable conversations and open conflict, especially when it comes to discussions about race, I realize my question to my students needs to be more explicit. This fall, instead of nudging vaguely in this direction, I’ll ask:
Review your audience description. Is it discriminatory in any way? How so? How can you address this issue?
When I was working on making this revision to my Denver course, I realized our most popular free resource at Amy Jacobus Marketing also needed revamping.
Find Your Forever Fans is a free workbook to help you better understand and locate your ideal audience for every service, product or event you have.
Our team spent a few weeks reviewing and revising this workbook to see how we can still help service providers consider their users’ point of view while being inclusive, welcoming and accessible.
I’m grateful to Anna, Caroline, Kate, Olivia and Paige on my team for eagerly diving into this work and contributing notes and feedback to add to and address issues in the original worksheet.
And I’m excited to share the new & improved version with you here👇👇👇
I'm curious to hear:
Have YOU ever considered how your advertising parameters or marketing content could be discriminatory? How does the way you think about your ideal audience contribute to your inability to break out of a certain bubble?
This is an important discussion. Because it’s still important that you define your audience in some way. That you’re not marketing to anyone and everyone.
In some cases, you might not want to break out of a certain bubble. For example, I am not best-suited to consult with product-based businesses, so I prefer to stay in my service-provider / nonprofit bubble.
But in other ways, you should be eager to pop that bubble, to open the doors to new and diverse groups.
I hope this updated worksheet will help you refine your ideal audience.
Dive in, be willing to explore your bias and assumptions.
I strategize, consult and manage digital marketing and communications for small businesses and creative entrepreneurs. I’m based in Brooklyn, because I have a thing for exposed brick, cozy, local coffee shops and the can’t stop, won’t stop energy of New York.
Because I work with small companies, I get the chance to really know my clients – what makes them tick and how and why they should stand out in a crowded marketplace. A lot of my clients have a smaller staff, a limited budget and are already stretched thin for time. This leads us to tailor marketing strategies and solutions to each company’s unique needs and actual capacity.