Your audience is invested in something. They’ve invested their time in things they love, their money in things they understand and their emotions in things they truly believe in.
Your company or brand is also invested emotionally in something – that “something” being defined by things like company heritage, belief systems or even products.
So every business out there is trying to play matchmaker, connecting the value systems of the company or brand with those of the consumer. As marketers, we’ve poked and prodded consumers’ personal investments for decades in search of a match. Our focus has always been on the end audience, how to reach them and fashion messaging they’ll buy into.
This works well when companies stay true to themselves. But messaging always fails when companies abandon their own value systems to match one owned by a desirable audience. Sure, your message needs to shift to remain fresh, but it should always come from the same emotional source within your company. Companies that want to target as large an audience as possible are challenged by this concept. They fixate on the sea of people who don’t quite line up with their values, rather than seeing the potential in the audience they should be talking to. The best way to reach a large audience is to properly use the smaller, more focused audience that makes up your base.
Think of a small rock being thrown into a still pond. At impact, this small rock causes ripples that flow out, creating larger and larger circles. Your communication works the same way. A targeted message to your core audience of like-minded, invested believers will cause a ripple of aspiration that allows your audience to grow – and continue growing – in a healthier way.
So find the group of people who are invested in the same things you are as a company/brand and talk to them. Refine your message to a personal level. Let them into your inner circle and make them feel like collaborators instead of customers. Turn them into brand champions and create your own army of passionate defenders. This is a great way to maximize small marketing budgets and begin an emotional ripple that will tweak the aspirations of broader audiences.