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Targeting the People that Matter the Most

Posted by Zen | 10th May 2024

Targeting the People that Matter the Most

It’s important to ensure your business message lands - clearly and concisely - with the right people. 

There’s so much hype in the world of PR about getting out there, and about spreading the word far and wide to get your company front-and-centre. And yes, there absolutely is power in brand awareness – but only when it’s focused, deliberate, and intentional.

But those PR professionals who tell you to shout your message from the rooftops often aren’t coming from a place of strategy. They’re usually opting for you to adopt a scattergun approach - literally throwing your message in all directions in the hope that it somehow sticks. 

The problem with this approach is that it relies on your message being heard by someone who actually cares, someone you want to do business with, and that it also drives that someone to act. Those are three pretty tough asks – for even the most carefully considered campaigns.

Imagine how much more powerful your message would be if you had someone specific in mind, if you knew how to target your message directly to them, and if you delivered it to them using a vehicle that is absolutely sure to get there.

A worthy example of this more targeted approach is Richard Reed’s journey with Innocent Drinks. When Richard and his co-founders, Adam Balon and Jon Wright, first launched the company they were doing well, but quickly reached the point where they needed to scale up - for cost efficiencies, opportunities, and to be viable as a commercial venture. Their aim? To be stocked in the major UK supermarkets. But despite their unwavering efforts, they just couldn’t get in front of any of the key buyers.

So, they took a step back, and spent some time learning as much as they could about the people they needed to influence, enthuse, and inform about their product. 

Through this research, they discovered that two of the buyers they were reaching out to, rode the same tube line to work each day. So, they borrowed enough money to order just four 48 sheet posters, and strategically placed these huge billboards along that route. 

Within just a couple of days one of the buyers called them, stating: ‘You guys are everywhere, we really need to talk.’ Quite frankly, this absolutely wasn’t true. But they’d implemented a strategic and sophisticated plan to ensure that to their intended audience, they were everywhere they looked. And there’s a huge difference…

By targeting their message very tightly to the people who mattered most to them, they got stocked in their first supermarket. Others quickly followed suit and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Of course you’re passionate about your message, but before you shout it from the rooftops we challenge you to really take a moment to drill down into the finer details, to work out who is most important to you. And we don’t mean seeking out some particular job title - go deeper than that - actually think about ‘who’ that person is. This enables you to add some psychological insight to your PR strategy, by understanding what truly motivates them. 

For example, are they ‘towards’ motivated? Is your message going to be about how you can help them to do more – to be bigger, better, and bolder? If so, be enthusiastic, be passionate, and use words like ‘skyrocket’. Or are they ‘away from’ motivated and looking for risk mitigation and a safe pair of hands. In this case, favour concrete examples and shorter sentences. 

These two approaches are very distinct, and if you get it wrong then the likelihood is that your message absolutely won’t resound with the person that really matters to you. By being strategic, you can ensure that your message doesn’t crash and burn, but instead lands skilfully - and resonates beautifully - with exactly who you intend.


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