open notebook marketing message

How to Focus Your Marketing Messages to Reach Your Audience


Kristin Pruis



At the core of every successful marketing campaign, is a business that understands their customer inside and out. They know their customer’s desires, their fears, their hopes and dreams and ultimately what motivates them to get out of bed in the morning. So, in order to really craft a message that speaks to your customer, you first must know your customer on an intimate psychological and social level.

What matters to one person can be completely different to another, depending on what your selling. The key is for you to define that person in as much detail as possible so you can hone in one what message will speak to them most.

Define Your Audience

If you already have customers…

The best way to define who your potential customers are is to look at who your existing customers are (even if you only have a few) and extrapolate the information. Use market data and research to fill in gaps where you don’t have enough information and constantly be looking for opportunities to gather data and insights about the customers you already have. Take an informal poll of your followers on social media or dig into your customer database to look for key insights and trends.

If you don’t have customers…

If you don’t have any customers yet, you have a little more digging to do to determine who would benefit most from your product, but there are plenty of resources out there to help you. Start by creating a list of all the potential customers your business might have, generally speaking in terms of age, location, demographics etc. Then narrow your list down to the 2 or 3 most likely customer profiles.

Once you have a more manageable target, do some research on these potential customers to see if their behaviors, needs and activities align with your business offerings. If they do, then you have the foundation for solid target audience. If they don’t, then you may need to revisit your original list of potential customers to see who might be a better fit for your business.

Free Resources for Collecting & Mining Audience Data:

  • Pew Research Center hosts a wealth of information backed by survey data that covers everything from social trends to politics and technology.
  • Google Analytics is a free tool that you may already have installed on your website that tracks your site’s visitor behaviors. With the right settings you can gather information about how users were referred, what pages they are interested in and even what hobbies they enjoy.
  • Typeform is an easy-to-use survey and form tool that comes in both free and paid versions. It is a great resource for eliciting feedback from your current customers. Set up a simple survey to gain insights into your customers by asking non-intrusive questions and collecting their answers.
  • Facebook Insights If you have a Facebook business page set up you can utilize the insights tool to collect information about your followers. Similar to Google Analytics, this tool will allow you to see what your followers are most interested in and when they are most active and responsive to your page.

Crafting Your Marketing Message

Once you are sure that your target audience is actually interested in what your business is offering, you will need to create a specific marketing message that addresses their needs and wants. Using a classic model like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a great place to start for planning your message. Essentially, Maslow’s model states that all humans have basic needs that fall along a continuum with physiological needs being the most basic (at the bottom of the pyramid) followed by safety, social, esteem and self actualization (at the highest point).

maslows hiearchy of needs Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

  1. Self-Actualization
  2. Esteem
  3. Social/Love
  4. Safety
  5. Physiological

This step of creating your marketing message can be somewhat of an art form of trial and error and may take some time get right. The key to crafting the right message lies in knowing your customers on a deeper level. This is the reason defining your audience is so important.

By having a more thorough understanding of your customers needs and wants you can create more meaningful connections into their lives and get them to engage with your business. Marketing often gets a bad rap for being gimmicky and spammy. This is the kind of messaging we want to avoid. A better approach to messaging is the kind that draws customers based on their needs not your desire to sell. Look to and take cues from industry leaders who do a great job at creating memorable messages using Maslow’s Pyramid model as foundation.

A Great Example: Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke Campaign

Originally launched in 2014, Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke Campaign and seasonal marketing effort is still going strong in 2020. Now that’s a great marketing campaign! This success is a great demonstration that Coke really understands their customers. By printing various names and phrases on bottles and cans of their products, Coke promotes sharing a Coke with your friend Jake, your mom or even your BFF. This campaign capitalized on the social connection of the millennial generation and revolution taking over other generations alike.

The marketing message: Coke is the beverage that brings people together.

Notice how we can tie this marketing message back to Maslow’s Hierarchy pyramid step of Social Acceptance & Love? Do your own research to find examples that can inspire you to make meaningful marketing messages for your customers. Have your own example? Feel free to share!

Contact K Design Co. if you are interested in learning more about marketing messages, branding or web design.

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