In the last two days, I’ve received 4 plastic bags to fill for charity. Yes, that’s 4 plastic bags.

So I ask myself, “Do I want to fill 4 bags for charity? Do I have enough stuff to fill 4 bags? Do these charities mean something to me personally?”

The answers are No. No and No. Not because I don’t care, but because these bags have been randomly stuffed through my letterbox in the hope that someone will bite.

That means these plastic bags for charity are going straight in the bin because these charities have spent no effort thinking about:

  1. Who their target market actually is. Children? Old people? Air ambulance? Cancer sufferers? My heart truly goes out to all these people but my discarded clothes simply can’t stretch that far.

  2. The best day of the week to target their market? They ALL post these bags at the beginning of the week – which is fine if they were the only charity doing this.

  3. Are plastic bags the best way to engage future subscribers? Or would engagement be better if these charities used emails? Letters? Social media?

How many times have we done this to our own audiences?

Do they really appreciate our “I’ll just wing it” approach? Take a look at this link how-to-lose-a-prospect-in-10-seconds and let us all hang our heads in shame.

Okay. So let’s start again:

  1. Have we identified our market through detailed research? I have so many resources to point to, but I’ll start with this one link how-to-pinpoint-your-ideal-client by Carole Seawert. Her website is well worth a look if you have time.

  2. When to target our market. Well, we need to (ouch) pick up the phone and ask them. Yet again, I’ve found a useful link: email_or_call_first?

  3. What does your target market want? From you? What do you want from them? This has a copyblogger.com link written all over it – but which one? I’m going for the peerless Sonia Simone with her article marketing-goals

Why does this matter?

Do you have a business?

Are you very clear who your target audience is?

Through their comments, have your audience told you what they need (I can’t resist ..what-audiences-want).

Have you clearly defined how your product can help your client?

This blog is nothing to do with just advertising links and everything to do with using those links to illustrate sound business practices.

~Sam Horsey is a business copywriter and journalist. Phone 07549 031533 or email sam.h@gmx.com

Advertisements