Friday, August 7, 2009

Finding my new BFF!

I can’t tell you how many times people ask me to help them with direct mail marketing….but they can’t tell me who their audience is!

Like the guy last Thursday who wanted to mail to “People who love their homes.”

Or the lady who defined her audience as “women.”

They are Doomed! Doomed! Doomed!

There is absolutely no clarity or critical thinking on their part. They can’t give me a reason why “women” would care about their product or service.

But ask me to find “Married African American women ages 25-50, in a specific geography, with household income over $xx, and kids” now there’s something I can work with!

We’re talking about knowing the audience for your message. Understanding who you are trying to reach so you can tailor your presentation to them. Finding your new BFF! (Best Friend Forever)

Demographics. Big word, but use it right and it can generate huge results.

For instance, last week I had the privilege of working with Kathy, a real estate agent who knew exactly the audience she wanted to reach. She knew her demographics.

She wanted homeowners with household income over $100,000 and home values over $775,000. Having lived in their homes for at least 10 years, they are now empty nesters. And yes, she wanted a very specific geographic area.

Sweet! She had her demographics down pat.

I had to go out only 1.39 miles from her office to find 1000 families that met her criterion. Her sales literature, phone calls and conversations are targeted to their unique needs. Her closure rate should be phenomenal because she “talks the talk” and “walks the walk.” She knows her audience and what drives them.

Most of these folks (772 of them) have HHI over $250K. The majority (714 families) have lived in their homes more than 14 years.

Are they ready to downsize? Retire? Move up and move out? I assure you Kathy will know in short order. Sales will inevitably follow.

So here’s the next-to-last word on demographics. Truly, thoughtfully consider the optimal person for your message. Not every person is the right person for every message. By using selective demographics to weed out inappropriate people, you can select the people who are right for your message.

Among some of the defining demographic factors are age, gender, household income, marital status, homeowner/renter, home value and length of residence, type of home (ie multi-family or single family), geographic location.

If you need to have even deeper analysis, you can ask for political or religious affiliation, credit worthiness, hobbies and interests, type of car they are likely to drive, pets and a multitude of other factors.

Last word: If you don’t know if something is available, ask. But don’t ask for information that is not core to your message. You’ll pay for something that you really don’t need. And that’s almost as stupid as mailing to “people who love their homes.”

43670 Trade Center Place, Suite 150, Dulles, VA 20166
Phone: 703.996.0800 | Fax: 703.996.0888 | 1.866.365.2858 | sales@paulandpartners

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