Inspiring Your Target Market

The latest buzz in the advertising and marketing worlds is how to turn customers and end-users into enthusiastic advocates for your brand. While traditional methods are still effective in selling products and keeping (and/or increasing) market share, inspiring your target market to achieve the next level requires an approach that pulls them into the brand experience and sends them out into the world to let everyone know how vital your brand is.

A revealing comparison of Traditional and Inspirational methods is provided by software expert and author Kathy Sierra, who notes that the breakdown doesn’t necessarily represent polar opposites. A method from the “traditional” side could also be “inspirational” – it just depends upon your approach. Here are some of her comparisons to supply the spark for your own inspirational ideas.

Traditional Inspirational
Showcase product features and benefits Showcase user accomplishments
Promotional Contests User Awards
Highlight company professionalism Demonstrate how much you care about users
Tell a remarkable marketing story Tell an inspirational user story
Give users financial incentives to recommend the product to others Give users an intrinsically meaningful experience they might want to share with others
Give prospective users a reason to want your product or service Give existing users a reason to care about building their skills and knowledge
Hold focus groups and listen to customer feedback to find out what they want Be an active member of the user community – moderate forums, sponsor user groups, write and read related blogs, etc.
Recognize (and seed) key influencers who have a huge audience Recognize your most passionate users, and those who’ve taken your product, service or brand in a direction you never imagined