Social and Psychological Benefits of Leaving Your Phone Out of Meetings 

Social and Psychological Benefits of Leaving Your Phone Out of Meetings

Every organization has its own rules—its own way of doing things. One rule at Paris Marketing is to never—and I mean NEVER—bring your phone to a meeting. And it’s not just our #CreativeBrandWarriors that must follow this rule. When we meet with clients, they too leave their phones at the door.

I remember the first time our Commander-in-Chief, Lisa Woodford, told me not to take my phone to meetings. Initially, I thought to myself: “Aren’t we working in the digital world? Why shouldn’t I bring my phone to a meeting? If I have to look something up, well, I can’t do that very well without a phone….”, but it didn’t take many meetings before I realized how effective this rule was in keeping participants involved and invested in the conversation at hand.

Lisa has always emphasized the power of this rule. Every one of us—whether client or coworker—is bombarded with emails, meetings, phone calls, and a smorgasbord of other things on a daily (or hourly) basis. But when a meeting is planned, all other things should be put to the side until it has concluded. This ensures focus is upheld. All parties involved in a meeting deserve the respect of undivided attention. And having phones in a meeting does nothing to help maintain that attention or give your meeting-mates the respect they deserve.

Lisa’s #1 rule: no phones at meetings.  It’s ultimate purpose: respect.

We’ve covered the social reasoning for this rule, now I’d like to give you some additional information which adds validity to it. You don’t need me to cite a scientific source supporting the following statement: phones are distracting. We all know that. But what if I told you a study was undertaken to see exactly how those distractions impact our ability to function and learn at optimal capacity? That’s exactly what the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research did, and I think you’ll be surprised to learn what they found out.

The Journal of the Association for Consumer Research undertook a study to determine how the location of a person’s phone in their workplace (the workplace for this study was a college) impacts their cognitive ability throughout the day. In the study, 500 participants (students) were randomly assigned to do one of three things: 1.) Keep their smartphone face down on their desk, 2.) Keep their smartphone in another room, or 3.) Keep their smartphone in their bag or pocket. Then, the participants completed two tasks designed to measure their available cognitive capacity. These tasks including a letter sequence task and a series of math problems. At the end of the experiment, the results were undeniable: those who left their phone in another room performed better than those who had their phone on their desk or in their bag or pocket.

Let’s get a little more granular regarding the results of this experiment. The study found that participants whose phone was left outside the room had an 11% higher working memory performance than participants who left their phone face down on their desk, and 9% higher than participants whose phone was kept in a bag or pocket. Participants who left their phone outside the room also performed at a 7% higher rate of problem-solving than those whose phone was left on their desk, and 2% higher than participants who left their phone in a bag or pocket. The study shows that our ability to think and perform is directly affected by the presence of a smartphone. And those who keep those phones out of the room perform better.

So, there you have it, we now have a social reason for leaving phones out of meetings (respect for others) AND we have information which proves we function at a higher level with phones out of the room. So, when you're headed to your next meeting, it would serve you well to take this advice from our Commander-in-Chief: Leave your phone at the door.

 

Until next time, this is Eric Troy, signing off 🖋️📖✌️


Lawsuit Filed Against Facebook for Removal of Ads Pertaining to CBD

Facebook Denies Advertisers the Ability to Promote CBD Related Content…And it Could Prove Disasterous

More and more states are continuing to legalize a substance which once suffered at the hands of an immense display of propaganda: Cannabis. Society still hasn’t overcome the stigmas cast upon cannabis which were largely displayed to the public between the years of 1930 and 1937 by Harry Anslinger, at that time, head of the Department of Prohibition. And with legalization still not standardized by federal legislature, laws across the country vary greatly from state to state. In twelve states, cannabis remains fully illegal, ten other states have fully legalized cannabis, and the remaining twenty-six states have laws which fall somewhere in-between—either decriminalizing the substance or allowing it to be purchased for medicinal purposes. This inconsistency isn’t only affecting American citizens in regard to their choice of cannabis use; it’s affecting the entire cannabis economy where the substance is completely legal to use, possess, sell, and grow. Why? Because at least two titans of the internet are denying advertisements related in nearly any capacity to cannabis from being displayed on their platforms. Worse still, businesses have had their Facebook accounts deleted entirely for attempting to advertise any cannabis related products with no word of warning from the social media platform. The latest Facebook advertising casualty for cannabis? Advertisements which feature CBD.

For those of you in the audience asking, “what’s CBD?”, I’ll give you a quick rundown. CBD—an abbreviation for cannabidiol—is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. It’s a substance used more and more frequently in products like oils, edibles, beverages, and salves for its perceived ability to relieve pain and reduce the effects of anxiety and depression. Unlike the chemical compound which imparts a psychoactive experience to cannabis users, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not have psychoactive effects. Put simply, CBD doesn’t get you high when consumed. This chemical compound found within the cannabis plant has rapidly increased in popularity in recent years. Up to 65 million Americans have tried CBD at least once, and many others use it as a holistic medicine which doesn’t require a prescription. But despite the chemicals widespread use and social acceptance, Facebook is crippling advertisements and businesses whose product is centered on it.

Numerous cases have been reported by Facebook advertisers and business owners alike who have attempted to advertise products related to CBD. The cases reported have not only had their ads denied from being displayed on the platform, but, in some cases, entire ad manager accounts have been completely shut-down—denying advertisers and business owners access to assets, analytics, and audiences they may have paid good money to garner. Worse still, some business pages which have posted content relating to CBD and attempted to sponsor that content have had their entire Facebook account deleted in the time it takes to snap your fingers.

Why Facebook? Why turn the gun toward the businesses who depend on your platform to succeed? The social media giant’s advertising policies don’t even make mention of CBD—not caring to warn would-be advertisers of CBD containing products about the potential repercussions that may occur if they attempt to utilize the platforms paid advertising features. What the advertising policies do say is that advertising “illegal products or services”, “drugs & drug-related products”, and “unsafe supplements” (unsafe supplements are determined by the sole discretion of Facebook), is not allowed. But with CBD as common in some areas as coffee, it’s hard to believe that Facebook is willing to excommunicate business who are trying to give the social media juggernaut their hard-earned money.

Facebook’s incomprehensive and ill-defined advertising policies have brought many businesses back to ground-zero on the platform, stripping them of any notoriety they may have acquired by deleting their account. But justice may yet be served. Facebook’s inability to educate advertisers on what content can be advertised and what the repercussions may be if content doesn’t adhere to advertising policies has brought a lawsuit into the picture. The suit was filed by Felicia Palmer, founder of one of the internet’s oldest hip-hop websites. Facebook accepted a payment given by Palmer to increase the reach of her posts about CBD while she was promoting an online summit called Cannaramic. After accepting Palmer’s payment, Facebook didn’t show the ads Palmer had promoted to the users she had selected when using Facebook’s targeted advertising features. Then, like so many others, Facebook disabled Palmer’s ads account entirely, stating that her ads had been blocked because “we don’t allow ads that promote illegal, prescription, or recreational drugs.”. That’s when Executive Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law, David Holland, stepped into the picture. Holland is representing Palmer in her case against Facebook pro-bono and has left the suit open to other plaintiffs to join.

While there are no guarantees as to the outcome of Felicia Palmer’s lawsuit against Facebook, all we can do is hope that sometime in the not-so-distant future, Facebook will, at the very least, give a more specific definition as to what type of content is allowed to be advertised on the platform, and the repercussions that advertisers will be subjected to if the advertising policies are not adhered to.

 

Until next time, this is Paris Marketing’s Head of Social Stories, Eric Troy, signing off ✌️

 

✌️ 🖋️ 📖

-Eric Troy

 

Eric Troy

A master at bending plywood to his will, Eric is also a fledgling writer. Stick around so that you don’t miss the moment when his ideas take flight.


How Does Google Work?

A Simple Explanation for a Complex Question 

But First, A Search Scenario

You’re watching TV and see an ad for a new gadget. Within 10 seconds, you’ve become amazed by this revolutionary product. You wonder how you lived without it for all these years. But you’re no sucker; you’re certain you can find a better deal online than the one the infomercial is offering. You pull out your phone and head to everyone’s favorite search engine: Google. Within the top three search results, you find exactly the gadget you’re looking for (but the infomercial deal did turn out to be better than the online version).

It’s like magic: translate your thought into a written form, hit the search button, and get relevant results; it’s as if you’ve thrown your inquiry into the heavens and God himself gave you back just the right answer instantaneously. But have you ever wondered: how does Google work? Thinking beyond Google, how do search engines work? If you find yourself reading these words, then it’s safe to say you’re at least a little curious. Let me help you understand the broad strokes of how search engines work. We won’t get into the nitty-gritty, but, after reading this blog, you’ll have a better understanding of the wizardry of search engines.

But first, I want to take a moment to express my appreciation for the capabilities search engines enable us with. Thanks to search engines, we can get answers with nearly the same rapidity that we can ask a question. In days of old, finding that information might take weeks of reading various books on a topic until you find that nugget of information that you were truly in search of. The internet is our modern-day equivalent to the ancient Library of Alexandria (and don’t tell Plato, but our modern-day version is even better, although it certainly lacks the aroma that must have filled the great library), and search engines act as that library’s Dewey Decimal System, enabling users to find exactly what they’re looking for amongst the infinitesimal contents of the internet.

“That’s all well and good Eric, but we didn’t come to this blog to hear you squak on and on about how great the internet and search engines are. We aren’t here to read your historically relevant comparisons to long lost places revered for their ability to store and make assessable the knowledge of the ages (no matter how good the comparison may have been). We’re all here because we have the same question: how does google work???” -Readers Everywhere

Alright, alright! I’m getting to it! Just this once, Readers Everywhere, can you cut me a break? It’s not my fault I’m a total search engine nerd!

How Google Works in Three Simply Explained Steps

1.) Crawling (Finding Web Pages)

We all know the saying: you have to learn to crawl before you learn to walk. What’s walking got to do with the price of tea in China? Well, it’s not so much the walking part as it is the crawling part that has relevance to our knowledge quest, Readers Everywhere. Crawling is the first step Google takes in determining relevant search results for searchers around the world. In the crawling process, Google catalogs all web pages on the internet. That’s right ALL PAGES ON THE INTERNET (that’s a lot of pages). After all, how can it give searchers the best result to their inquiry if it doesn’t know what pages exist to direct users to?

Right about now, I imagine your asking “Wait, why does Google catalog all pages on the internet? Isn’t there some type of organization or authority—some type of web page registry that keeps track of that?”. The answer: no, there is no dedicated organization, government or otherwise, tasked with cataloging what web pages are on the internet. Google and other search engines compile this data by constantly scanning the internet for newly created pages, then, they add them to their repository of known web pages.

2.) Indexing (Determining What Those Web Pages are About)

When Google has found new web pages while crawling, the search engines next step is determining and understanding what each new web page is about. This process is called indexing. To determine what each web page is about, Google analyzes the content of each web page, then catalogues the content (which includes text, images, and video files embedded on each web page) in the Google Index—a huge database stored within what Google describes as “many, many (many!) computers”. I imagine tens of thousands of processing units in an underground warehouse somewhere beneath the sands of the Sahara Desert, but I’ve always been a romantic.

3.) Serving and Ranking Web Pages (Determining Which Results Best Suit Searchers Inquiries, Then, Displaying Those Results)   

And finally, we’ve made it to the search results page, and how Google determines the order in which those search results appear after an inquiry has been made. By analyzing content on indexed webpages, Google tries to determine the best answer for the query that’s been searched. How does Google determine which web pages will best answer the search query? By cross-referencing information about the searcher—such as location, language, and device used to make the inquiry—and the web pages, more specifically the content on those web pages, which are in the Google Index. There are many more factors which Google considers aside from site content when determining search rankings and a web pages relevance to a searcher, but that’s a topic for another day.

 

In Closing

Now that I’ve shed some light on the magic of search engines and their wizardly ways, I hope you have a better understanding of just how search engines work. Hopefully, you’ve just become the resident search engine expert in your social circle, telling your family around the dinner table, your half-drunk friends at the bar, or your dog (because dogs almost always listen, even though your significant other probably won’t want to), just how Google gives you the results that you’re looking for. Until next time, Readers Everywhere, this is Eric Troy, signing off.

 

✌️ 🖋️ 📖

-Eric Troy

 

Eric Troy

A master at bending plywood to his will, Eric is also a fledgling writer. Stick around so that you don’t miss the moment when his ideas take flight.


Legally Purchasing Cannabis for Recreational Consumption: A Massachusetts Resident’s Experience.

On November 20th, 2018, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts witnessed a historic moment: the first legal sale of recreational cannabis. In spite of this incredible moment, I didn’t step into one of the two facilities currently serving the public until December 1st. You might be asking why it took me thirteen days before venturing into one of these facilities. The simple answer: I didn’t want to wait in a line comprised of hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals awaiting their first legal, recreational cannabis purchase.

Nearly two weeks after the facility opened its doors to the general public on December 1st, I drove by the Leicester, MA, dispensary, Cultivate. My eyes widened with shock as I saw the swarm of people waiting in line. After seeing this, I was adamant: “I’m not going to wait in that line.” I thought as I drove by the facility, frustrated that, as a resident of Massachusetts who lives a stone’s throw away from a dispensary, why was I unable to even get near the door?

Later that evening, I had accepted the facts: if I wanted to make a legal cannabis purchase, I’d have no choice but to wait in that line. Once again, I drove to Cultivate, only to have my hopes dashed by a sign on the roadside outside the dispensary, which read: Recreational Sales Closed for The Day.

Most people would have taken that roadside sign as an omen—December 1st just wasn’t the day. I, on the other hand, had had enough waiting. With two of my closest friends, we drove to NETA Northampton—Massachusetts’ only other recreational cannabis dispensary currently in operation. After an hourlong ride, we finally arrived only to see that, like Cultivate, this dispensary also boasted a mile-long line. The plus side: recreational sales were still open and would continue until 10 P.M.

We walked to the back of the line and stood in the bitter New England cold for three hours before finally entering the facility. During those three hours of waiting, I spoke with many individuals who, like myself, were beyond excited to make their first legal cannabis purchase. These people were of all ages and nationalities; the line was a veritable melting pot which showcased the array of individuals who wanted to be legal, recreational cannabis consumers.

The demographic diversity—both in nationality and age—of the crowded line held little surprise for me. What did surprise me was the locations these individuals called home. There was a woman in her 60s who’d driven, by herself, all the way from Pennsylvania, wearing nothing more than sweatpants and a hoodie; another woman in her 40s had made the pilgrimage from Massachusetts’ northern neighboring state, Vermont; a husband and wife who shivered in the bitter elements (and who also gave me a half-dozen McDonald’s chicken nuggets two hours or so into our wait) had driven from hustling, bustling Manhattan; another couple, I’d guess to be in their mid-60s, came from New York. Like my friends and me, they had come to get their first legal taste of the cannabis industry. The difference between them and my friends and me? They had driven between four and six hours to stand in that mile-long line.

Eventually, my friends—both the ones I had gone to the dispensary with and the new ones I’d made while waiting in line—and I walked through the dispensary doors. We purchased our wares and were on our way back home to enjoy the crop less than fifteen minutes after we’d walked through the door. After the ride home, we got our first taste of legal, recreational cannabis. The product was just as incredible as we had hoped, but I was left with a myriad of thoughts regarding this experience. Paramount among my thoughts was this: Why, if so many individuals are cannabis users, has the federal government not legalized cannabis for the whole of the nation? This is a question that citizens across the country are asking themselves, and one which we all hope will soon be answered. Until then, people will continue to travel far and wide to experience what may be the first legal cannabis purchase they’ve made in their lives. How does that impact me, a resident of Massachusetts interested in exercising my legal right to purchase cannabis? Until more dispensaries open their doors, I fear the lines outside the facilities will be far from empty. It will likely be another three-hour wait in line before I can purchase cannabis from a dispensary again. But despite the inconvenience to Massachusetts residents, I think this is a great problem to have. The excitement among all states regarding the prospect of legal cannabis is clear. You can see it for yourself; all you have to do is visit a dispensary and talk to the people waiting in line.

Eric Troy

A master at bending plywood to his will, Eric is also a fledgling writer. Stick around so that you don’t miss the moment when his ideas take flight.


How to Achieve Staggering Click-Through Rates Using LinkedIn Sponsored InMail.

When the BlueHive Group exhibited at HCEA, we did so with a mission: to help event and meeting planners in the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, and Medical Device industries who needed to improve their tradeshow experience. Exhibiting proved fruitful; we met many great event and meeting planners within the aforementioned industries, but that’s where our mission to ease the process of meeting and event planning really started. Through our conversations with HCEA attendees, we learned a lot about the specific pain points that event and meeting planners in these industries experience. Armed with better insight, we took our mission to the next level, setting our sights on the digital world.

The BlueHive Group offers customers end-to-end brand management solutions to help clients thrive. With industry experts from varying industries under our roof, coupled with the insights we’d gained from speaking with HCEA attendees, we developed a survey for event and meeting planners designed to help ease the meeting and event planning process.

Have you ever asked someone to fill out a survey? Or, better yet, have you ever received a phone call where the person on the other end of the line asks if you have a moment to answer a few questions? I’d be willing to bet you have, and I’d also bet you swiftly hit the end call button before answering any questions. Getting survey responses in the digital world isn’t so different. It’s difficult. That’s why determining the best channel to elicit responses from event and meeting planners was extremely important.

After the survey was built, the BlueHive Group team put our heads together and determined that LinkedIn was the most effective social channel for this campaign. Moving forward, we developed a LinkedIn Sponsored InMail campaign. Unlike other ad formats, Sponsored InMail allows you to send a personalized message directly to a LinkedIn user’s inbox. We wanted to capitalize on that AND add an additional incentive for LinkedIn users to fill out the survey, offering users a $5 Starbucks gift card which they would receive after the survey was completed.

Before I tell you about the jaw-dropping click-through rate our ad received, I want to tell you an approximate estimate for click-through rate averages across LinkedIn for Sponsored InMail ads. According to LinkedIn’s internal data, open rates for Sponsored InMail messages are 45% and of those 45%, 4-7% will click-through to a desired landing page. For our purposes, the landing page would be the survey. So, now that we have a little context, here are the results of our campaign.

During a span of one month, our ad was delivered to 1,000 LinkedIn users who fell within our targeting criteria (meeting and event planners within the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, and Medical Device industries). Of those 1,000 users who had seen our message, 570 clicked-through to the survey. That equals a staggering click-through rate of 57%.

The BlueHive Group #WhereGreatBrandsGrow #MoreThanMarketing

Connect with Creative Brand Warrior Eric Troy to learn more about this article.

Eric Troy

A master at bending plywood to his will, Eric is also a fledgling writer. Stick around so that you don’t miss the moment when his ideas take flight.


Trend Observations, Pt. I: To Infinity and Beyond

Since last Friday (9/28/18), I’ve been riding the high of trend observation. It’s a pretty straightforward concept: observe themes in entertainment, advertising, and your surroundings at large to establish relevant, timely trends.

What trend did I observe last week and how did it become more than just an idea and observation? Let’s get to it.

My girlfriend and I often settle down for the evening with a binge-worthy T.V. show. We had just finished watching the Hulu series Castle Rock (which I highly recommend) and were looking for the next series that would captivate us while we finished off our night with a cold one and a bag of chips. What did we find? The First, featuring Sean Penn. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the show, it’s a story about astronauts in the near future as they plan a Mars expedition.

Because we don’t pay for the ad-free version of Hulu, we get stuck watching commercials. To clarify: Just because I’m an advertiser doesn’t mean I like commercials any more than the next person. In fact, I can honestly say I hate commercials just as much as you do, if not more. But, when the commercial for the new iPhone XS came across my television screen, inspiration ignited in my mind like a freshly struck match. I thought of the soon to be released movie First Man and the film’s premise (The Apollo XI mission). I thought of The First. I thought of the iPhone XS advertisement. Epiphany: Space is in. Space is the trend.

So, that’s how I realized the trend, but what happened following the observation? Implementation, baby. Implementation and inspiration.

For our client, AO® Eyewear Inc., we created a social media campaign which I’ve affectionately titled “See New Worlds”. Our image content was space-themed and our audience is comprised of people with interests like, NASA, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Neil Armstrong, Cape Canaveral, etc. We’ve yet to launch this campaign, but audiences will be sure to see it within the next week or so. I’ll be making another entry in this blog following the results of this campaign, and I’m hoping they’ll be out of this world (pun intended).

So, in partial conclusion, inspiration and trend observation can be found anywhere and at any time, you’ve just got to be perceptive enough to notice.

Eric Troy

A master at bending plywood to his will, Eric is also a fledgling writer. Stick around so that you don’t miss the moment when his ideas take flight.


Cannabis and Social Media

How Social Media Marketing Can Help Your Cannabis Business

At Paris Marketing, we think cannabis is pretty dope (insert picture of a pot leaf with a smiley face and sunglasses, here.), but more specifically, we think successfully marketed canna-businesses are.

So, let’s talk about how you can market your cannabis business on social media.

Sponsored Social Media Updates are a No-No:

For other industries, my first suggestion would be sponsored social media ads. For those of you in the audience that are asking, “what’s a sponsored social media ad?” allow me to elaborate: Sponsored social media campaigns are posts, tweets, updates, or other content that are backed by cold, hard, cash ensuring that the content shows up in the news feed of targeted users.

Why would you want to spend your money on social media ads? Because social media is an incredibly viable marketing source with a lot of potential for getting in front of the right people. Unfortunately, social media platforms are reluctant to allow sponsored advertising for cannabis under its current, federally illegal, status. When the Federal law inevitably catches up with forward-thinking state legislations, this is bound to change, but for now, sponsored social media campaigns for canna-businesses aren’t in the cards.

Organic Social Media Updates are a Go-Go:

So how can you utilize social media to increase your brand’s awareness, reach, and ultimately your bottom dollar without putting money behind social media content? Organic social media is the ideal alternative solution.

Organic social media is just a fancy way of saying you can post social media updates without putting money behind those updates. In early 2018, the kingpin of social platforms, Facebook, updated its algorithm to prioritize content that engages audiences (content that inspires conversation between users, is “Liked” more often by users, or is more relevant to connecting friends and families through social networking). By and large, this resulted in greatly reduced organic social media effectiveness for businesses. Why then, am I suggesting organic social media for your canna-business? Because if you provide relevant, engaging content to your audience, you can still reach those users who matter most to your business.

Canna-businesses lack the ability to sponsor content, making organic social media their new best friend. By maintaining a consistent posting regimen that promotes relevant content to your audience, your canna-business can still achieve great results from its social media efforts.

What content would be relevant for my business?

That all depends on what type of canna-business you’re running. For some businesses, photos of flowers would entice your audience. For others, showing your unique manufacturing processes and how they relate to the cannabis industry could be the stuff your audience craves.
Every business is different and should highlight what makes them unique, while still keeping the audience up to date with industry news and showing them content that entices.

In closing: Until federal legislation changes and social media platforms allow sponsored updates, organic social media is your brand’s best friend.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out Paris Marketing’s Creative Warrior Podcast.

Eric Troy

A master at bending plywood to his will, Eric is also a fledgling writer. Stick around so that you don’t miss the moment when his ideas take flight.


Marketing 101: How to Hit Your Target (Audience)

Whether you’re a marketing agency, a business person looking to increase their online presence, or an artist who wants to expand their following, knowing how to capture the attention of those who will find value in your product is essential to building your brand. In this article, Eric Troy explains key steps to reach that audience and achieve your targeting goals.

Step one: Know your brand.
Before you can determine your target audience, answer these three questions.
What is special about your product? What makes you—or your product—better than other sources? What elevates you above the competition?

Know your message, your product, and the value of that product before taking any further steps. After all, how can you set yourself above the competition if you don’t know what you’re bringing to the table?

Know your goals. Know your perspective. Know your skills. Know your brand.

Step two: Find successful examples of similar products.
Looking to the competition may seem counter-intuitive, especially after defining what sets you apart from them. But finding others in your field who have found success is essential to triumphant targeting.

By observing successful examples of similar products, you can see what they’ve done to acquire their following, and more importantly, you can see the individuals who comprise that following.

You catch a glimpse of your target audience.

Step three: Define your audience.
Sure, you want to increase your following, but what does your audience want? What are their interests? What are their hobbies? What makes them tick?

It’s impossible to know every aspect of the individuals who would have interest in your product. They are individuals, each with their own interests that deviate from the others, but what commonalities do they share?

Just as an artist first paints the broad strokes, then adds the color and finishing touches, so too must you determine the characteristics of your target audience.

Here’s an example:

Would a salesperson at Mercedes-Benz be more likely to sell a car to someone who works at the grocery store, or to someone who sells stocks on Wall Street? Who is more likely to be able to afford that vehicle, or even be able to rationally consider buying it?

If you answered, ‘someone who sells stocks on Wall St.’, congratulations, you’ve successfully determined one aspect of your targeting criteria.

Now, what would someone who would be able to afford a luxury vehicle be interested in? Fine dining? Custom-fitted suits? The PGA tour?

What media outlets would they follow? Business Insider? Forbes? The Wall St. Journal?

What age would the purchaser of a luxury vehicle likely be?
Think of determining the characteristics of your target audience as a funnel. Start with broad characteristics-blanket statements-and gradually narrow down to the specifics.

Step four: Use the right tool for the job.
We’ve determined the characteristics of our target audience, but how can we make use of this information?

With the characteristics we’ve compiled, we can now determine the best way to make our target audience aware that our product exists.

How will our target audience most likely see our promotional efforts? Would they be more likely to see our promotion in a newspaper, or from online sources? Would they be more likely to be watching cable T.V. or streaming videos on YouTube?
These answers will vary for each target audience you put your sights on, but the steps you’ve taken to determine who your target audience is will always retain their value. By knowing your target audience, you can discern which form of outreach will be most effective.

In closing, Following these four steps will help you find your target audience, determine their characteristics, and decide what approach will be most effective in reaching them. But the only way to see whether your targeting efforts are successful is by applying the information you’ve compiled.

Observe the data you receive after your promotional campaign has been launched, then adjust your targeting criteria accordingly to refine the characteristics of your target audience, or the outlets you are attempting to reach them on.

Your targeting toolbox is stocked, now get out there and give it a go!

Eric Troy

A master at bending plywood to his will, Eric is also a fledgling writer. Stick around so that you don’t miss the moment when his ideas take flight.