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Any creative director with half a brain should understand the
importance of defining the target market. If you are not “two fries
short of a Happy Meal®” you should know that to produce great creative
work you need to understand everything you can about your target
should know your target market very well… intimately well… so well that
you can feel free to plant a big, wet, sloppy, French kiss right on
their ruby red lips. Ok… maybe not. At any rate, you should at least get to know your target market in both quantitative and qualitative terms.
Any creative director who ever enjoyed a burger and fries (I’m
trying to eat healthier myself) should know that you need to define
your target market demographically. The major ratings services such as
Nielsen®, Arbitron® and Birch® have very specific “demos” that are used
in presenting program availabilities (avails) and radio station
rankings (rankers). They are broken down into specific pre-defined
groups such as Adults 18-49, Women 25-54, etc. Broadcast media is
negotiated and purchased according to these demographic breakouts so it
is logical to use them in defining the market quantitatively.
As far as qualitative information, a well-defined target market can include psychographics (personality, interests, attitudes, opinions, lifestyles), socioeconomics (economic activity and social life) and geodemography
(location dynamics). This might include “buying power index”
information (BPI); lifestyle clusters (Boomers, Yuppies, Gen X, Empty
Nesters, etc.); beliefs, attitudes and values (BAV); activities
(golfing, boating, bungee jumping, nose picking, nail biting, music,
nightlife, travel) and numerous other criteria that is available
through various media resources.
Is your target market business-to-business or consumer? How do you
reach them, where do you reach them, what creative appeals will they be
most receptive to? ... How does the product/service benefit them… What
is the best way to communicate with them. How do you get their attention… arrest their interest… create desire within them… motivate them to take action? These questions cannot be answered properly until you have defined your target audience in writing.
Defining the target market will affect your creative work in
infinite ways; including the graphic treatment, photography, artwork,
font selection, motion graphics, color scheme, page-style, creative
appeals, copy points, shooting venues, location scouting, talent
selection, brand personality, camera-work, editing, music, sound
design/effects/foley, burgers, fries, hotdogs, milk shakes, sushi :-) ,
you don’t need a degree in marketing research to understand your
market, it can’t hurt to know some of the basics. Who knows, your
target audience might even start a love affair with you... er... at
least with your creative work anyway.