Listening to Your Target Audience — And to What They Don’t Say

You know you need to be listening to your target audience.  But did you know you need to be listening to what they don’t say?  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  “If they don’t tell me what they need, how do you expect me to be able to help?”

listening to your target audience

Sometimes one question is enough

To some extent that is certainly true. Say you see a man wearing one shoe and crying.  You can probably figure out what’s wrong, but you ask anyway.  And he tells you that he only has one shoe.  Now you know how to help this poor man. He needs a new pair of shoes.  (Or at least a mate for the shoe he has.)

Sometimes though, what your audience does not tell you is more important than what they are communicating. Let’s say you are in the weight loss market. You have a list, and when you survey that list the number one request is to lose 25 pounds in 3 months.

You go to work, writing blog posts and creating information products that help your audience do exactly that. Then something strange happens. You don’t make any sales. What happened?

The important thing here is exactly what your audience is NOT telling you … the “BIG WHY” behind their motivation to lose weight. A woman may realize that her wedding day is just around the corner. She knows this is a once-in-a-lifetime event (hopefully), and wants to look her best so the pictures taken be perfect in every way.

Sometimes you need to ask more than one question

You may think it is that person’s fault for not telling you her intimate reason for wanting to lose weight. That is incorrect. You are the person they came to for help. You didn’t ask deep enough questions to get around to the real reason weight loss was desired.

Ask your audience deeper questions. Don’t just ask them if they want to lose weight, ask them why, keep digging down to the core emotional need. When you satisfy this deep desire for change, rather than what is expressed as a surface desire, you’ll gain yourself a customer because you will have solved her problem.

Listening to your target audience . . . and to what they don’t say

So how do you put all this into action?  Focus on engagement.  Build your list, not merely to have a group to sell products to, but also to have a community of people interested in your niche.  Analyze what emails get the most reaction.  When a subscriber communicates with you, consider that an invitation for open dialogue.

Engage on social media.  Don’t just send out your tweets and Facebook posts.  Interact with your friends and followers.  Listen to what they are telling you and follow up with questions to discover what they aren’t saying.

Treat comments on your blog the same way.  Blog comments are a great means of listening to your target audience.  Connect with your readers, request and welcome comments, and respond to them.  Consider every comment an exercise in market research.

Make listening to your target audience a top priority.  And when you do, ask yourself what they aren’t saying.

And now I want to listen to you!  How do you listen to your target audience so that you can learn what they aren’t saying?  And what are your experiences as part of a target audience when your favorite bloggers listen to you?

And if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends and followers on social media.

Communication with Your Target Audience

As you may know, financial problems are the leading cause of divorce.  And the second leading cause of a failed marriage?  A lack of communication.  Now, why on earth would I be talking about causes of divorce in a post about your target audience? Because both your financial situation and the relationship you have with your prospects are strongly and irreversibly interconnected. Communication with your target audience should be your top priority.  So, work hard on getting to know what your audience expects from you and thinks about all the time. If you do, you’ll have a better relationship with them, and fewer financial problems.

communication with your target audience

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The Importance of Emotional Marketing

The truth is, nothing can elicit a response quite like the right emotion. What we, as marketers, want most from our audience is a response. We want them to answer our calls to action. We want them to opt in, engage, buy, join, or do something else that we tell them to do. And, the best way to do that is to evoke the right emotions that cause the right action to take place.  That, in a nutshell, explains the importance of emotional marketing.

Importance of emotional marketing

What are some of the results of good emotional marketing?  Read on, my friend.

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What Is Emotional Marketing?

Emotional marketing is a term thrown around in the marketing world. It doesn’t mean that you market by reacting emotionally yourself.  Rather, it means that you market by evoking emotions in your target audience.  Emotional marketing uses various words, colors, and images to evoke certain emotions in the audience in all your marketing messages. In fact, there is an entire science involved in marketing that studies the effect of the colors, images, and words on the page and how they affect the consumer.

These eight emotions are most commonly used in emotional marketing:

1. Sadness
2. Fear
3. Anger
4. Surprise
5. Disgust
6. Anticipation
7. Joy
8. Trust

In addition to those eight, each emotion, in combination with others, can create other emotions. For example, joy, anger, and anticipation can translate into passion. Anticipation coupled with joy can be called optimism. Each audience has their own trigger words that will evoke certain emotions. In addition, for each target audience, certain emotions will trigger various actions.  To succeed at emotional marketing, your trick is to understand your target audience’s trigger words (to evoke their emotions) and to know what emotions will trigger the action that you want them to take.

Encourage Sharing

For the most part, emotions like joy and trust make us want to share with others. That being the case, you may want to make your audience feel trusting and happy to get them to share their information with you and to share you with their friends. Each audience has its own language that elicits trust and happiness. It’s important to learn it.

Make Them Want to Help

If you want people to empathize, you should seek to evoke feelings of sadness and loss in the audience members. Think of the ASPCA commercials where they show abused and starving animals while a sad song plays in the background. This makes the audience feel sad and angry and want to help. Since the ASPCA is a well-known organization with a good reputation, they already have the trust of their target audience. Each time the commercials air, many people take the action that the ASPCA is trying to evoke with emotional marketing — they donate.

Go Viral

If you want a post to go viral, negative feelings are most powerful.  Your post should evoke anger, disgust and anticipation, or fear. To make it successful, you want your target audience to take a specific action.  So be sure to give your them a way out of these bad feelings, which is to buy what you’re offering. This works because these bad feelings are extraordinarily powerful and have lasting consequences.

Feelings First

When engaging in emotional marketing, it’s important to realize that feelings go first. First, people feel, and then they buy. If you want more people to buy, make them feel something that leads them to buying what you’re offering.

Examples of Emotional Marketing

A great lesson in the way emotional marketing works is to watch the entire series of Mad Men, especially the early episodes. You can learn so much about how the copywriters and ad men dealt with their audience’s emotions through the written word, images, and eventually TV commercials.

Fortunately, emotional marketing is all around you.  Be aware of it and you will learn a lot from it.  Here are some of my favorite examples to take a look at:

Procter & Gamble – This award-winning ad elicits feelings of community, belonging, family, and pride very well.  And if the story lines don’t make you cry by the end, the series of crying moms will do the trick.

Netflix Commercial – This commercial makes you want to belong to the community of watchers and see the shows that only are on Netflix, due to the innovative, funny, and interesting shows.  The awkwardness of Ricky Gervais is very relatable.


Pfizer – This commercial pulls at the heartstrings to promote the message of a drug company.  The stealthy activity at the beginning of the commercial causes you to draw some conclusions but the surprise ending delivers the message.


What commercials can you find that evokes emotions in you? What about sales pages, or blog posts, or other types of advertising?  Share your favorites in the comments below.

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Earn Trust from Your Target Audience

If you can get this one thing right you can explode your business. It’s the one emotional marketing trick that you want to exploit and get right – earn trust from your target audience. Trust is the one emotion that makes your audience want to give you money. After all, money is very personal and your audience must trust you to give you some of it. Here’s how to earn that trust.

earn trust from your target audience

Publish Relevant Content Regularly

Showing that you’re dependable will go far in helping to develop trust with your audience. If you publish blog posts, email newsletters, or other material regularly, it will prove that you’re in this for the long haul. And this helps push you to “authority” level and will cause people to trust you more.

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