Greg Simpson, founder of Press for Attention PR and Enterprise Nation Champion for Nottingham suggests we take inspiration for marketing and PR from none other than Rudyard Kipling.
“I Keep six honest serving-men: (They taught me all I knew) their names are What and Where and When and How and Why and Who.”
Thanks Rudyard. Us marketing and PR folk have held these close for years. I’ve written previously on your “What?” so this time, I thought I’d tackle “Who?” I don’t mean in terms of a news piece i.e. Press for Attention says this, I mean in terms of who your customer is.
Actually, do you even know?
There is little point in bringing in a PR consultant to generate a vague “buzz” if you don’t know who you want to talk to.
It’s time to get a bit forensic, to really drill down to who your target customer base is. Not the current one. A lot of them may be accidental customers or perhaps if you are honest, not the right customers for your skill set. Are they even profitable?
Take some time to audit your current customer base and check that it aligns with what you want it to be. Can you truly help them? Can you make a tangible difference that means it is a win/win for you both? Are they sustainable?
If we look at mine, I work on B2B campaigns for clients across the East Midlands. Their “who?” might be national which is fine but I keep “my” who within an hour’s drive. That means I can be with them at short notice and I can also add value outside of PR strategy in terms of introductions and my wider network.
So when I sit with a prospective client and they tell me they want to be in the Sunday Times I stop them right there. Why? Do all your customers read it? Possibly, but wouldn’t it be better to check first? What if they read trade journals in their lunch hour? What do they have in reception? What blogs, websites or newsletters do they keep an eye on?
This audit is also a great way to get in touch with your database with a “soft” sell. You are valuing their opinion. You are trying to be helpful.
Once we establish that your “A” and perhaps “B” customer base does indeed read Widgets Weekly, we can then start to craft a message that works for both you and your who.