Marketing, and certainly public relations, are evolving. Social media is rapidly growing and influencing the way business is done. In the face of all this change, it’s sometimes easy to forget that in many ways the basics of marketing are more important than ever.
With that in mind, here’s a reminder about the two ‘people’ who matter most in your marketing mix: Jane Brand and Joe Public.
An exercise that marketing professors sometimes have classes do is sit down and describe how a target market might be embodied in a single person. This person, let’s call him Joe Public, might be a twenty-eight year-old man, married, working in a bank, own two cats, has a car loan and intends to purchase a home within the next five years. He’s looking for the perfect ‘something’, which your company just happens to offer — now that you know who he is, you’ve got a much better idea of how to talk to him. Humanizing the customer base makes one’s marketing strategy about problem solving for their specific audience rather than just promoting their product or service out into the ether.
So that’s Joe Public – what about Jane Brand? One maxim holds true no matter what medium you’re working with: people like people. Obvious? Well yes. Of course in most cases, your brand is not a person- so it behooves the marketer to develop the brand’s identity to be personal and personable.
Take that marketing professor’s exercise a step further and find out who your brand is. It could be an actual representative person serving as the face of the brand, be it as a spokesperson, mascot, blogger or even the CEO- or it might be a little more abstract. If it’s the latter, take some time to explore it – find out more about Jane Brand until you’re familiar with who she is, what she looks like, how she talks and how she might go about solving Joe Public’s problems. Needless to say, she shouldn’t have multiple personalities – your brand’s value is closely linked to its consistency.
These are not advanced principles of marketing. For some of our regular readers, this might even seem simplistic to the point of redundancy. That being said, with all the different ways brands can interact with their publics, be it in traditional or new media, there’s all-too-common danger of splintering the marketing and communications messaging. It pays to keep it simple; Jane Brand and Joe Public are good ways of reminding yourself to do just that.