your target audience: the how-to of resonating

KT blog post pic 3-29-13

it makes sense that you need to resonate with your target when creating advertising, but the real trick hinges on knowing how to do that.

how can you get into the mind of an 8-year old girl, football-watching male, a new mother, a scuba diver, or female sports car purchaser on cue if you’re not familiar with the typical mindset?

here are a few tips that involve immersion:

immerse yourself in the target’s language. if 15-year old skateboarders use the word “sick” as an adjective to describe something they like, and you’re trying to sell skateboards, this lingo is useful to know. visit the websites devoted to your target, read the books written for them, and learn their specific language. if your target is vegan, become an expert on the topic. it’s also fun to pass some time on urbandictionary.com to see how creatively words are bent for new variations.

immerse yourself in the target’s visual realm. if you’re selling something to a 12-year old girl, and a trend with 12-year old girls is fluorescent nail polish and brightly-colored skinny jeans, then your advertising will feel more authentic to them if it contains bright, fluorescent colors. each generation wants to forge its own signature style, so it helps to understand what that might be.

immerse yourself in the target’s culture. there are specific books, movies, snacks, TV and web shows, videos, and music that define each generation, and the younger the target, the bigger difference a few years can make. 13-year olds will have different tastes than 17-year olds, 19-year olds will have different tastes than 24-year olds, and so forth — so try to be as age-specific as possible if your target is under 35 years old. if you understand the cultural offerings that define a generation, then you’ll know what someone is embracing, rebelling against or indifferent to, which can help with your understanding.

a copywriter is so many things rolled into one industrious and curious person: researcher, character actor, investigative journalist, linguist, editor, platform inventor, fact checker, artist, promoter, and author of both fiction and non-fiction – which is what makes the challenge so thrilling.

do you have any strategies or tips for resonating? if so, send them along!

— kim taylor

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