In the early days of my marketing career I lived in apartments with roommates, and we always had a dartboard on the wall. There was just something about dartboards and beer that went well together. target

These days, I probably have six or seven beers a year. But a lesson I learned back in my dart tossing days still holds true. And that lesson is this: Throwing darts and marketing have one BIG thing in common.

Zeroing in on your target and hitting it is the only way you can win.

This is why writing a thorough description of your target audience is such an important part of creating a Core Message Platform.

Remember, a Core Message Platform is a comprehensive 12- to 15-page document loaded with dynamic selling statements about your product or service. It serves as the “master messaging document” from which you can write all of your essential marketing content.

Working from a Core Message Platform assures you’ll have consistent selling statements about your product across all of your marketing channels.

However, before you write your Core Message selling statements, you must know everything you can about the people you’ll be targeting. This is why I place a strong emphasis on writing a solid target audience description at the front end of every Core Message Platform I create.

Never skip this step because in many cases your target audience may not be as obvious as it seems.

Be crystal clear about who your target really is

Here are a few specific examples from my 20+ years of medical copywriting.

When writing marketing content for surgical devices, you might assume the people making buying decisions are the physicians and surgeons who will use them.

In many cases this is true. However, depending on the product you are selling, those making the buying decision may be:

  • Physicians or surgeons
  • Nurses
  • Office managers
  • Group purchasing agents

When a company sells multiple medical devices, your research may find that your marketing messages for one device should be targeted to surgeons, while sales copy for another device should appeal to office managers—even though surgeons will ultimately use the product.

Take it one step further

It’s essential to know WHO makes the buying decision, but you must also know what makes them tick. This will influence how you write your Core Message selling statements.

Back to my medical copywriting examples.

If you are targeting urologists, you’ll need to know that a majority of them are men. When you target nephrologists, you have to consider that many are attracted to messaging that highlights statistical proof, instead of technical features and benefits.

Plastic surgeons tend to think of themselves as artists, which frees you to be a little more expressive with your sales copy.

Purchasing agents, on the other hand, may put a key emphasis on price. When price is equal among competitive products, better customer service or ease of ordering may be what stimulates their buying decision.

Your big takeaway is this: When you write a description of your target audience for your Core Message Platform, dig deep and do your homework. Go beyond the obvious and be thorough.

Get a clear picture of who makes the buying decision for your product or service. Find out what grabs their attention, what their pain points are, and what motivates them to buy—and then write all of your Core Message selling statements accordingly.

Remember, marketing is a lot like darts. Hitting your target means everything!

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