The Most Important Marketing Question


I have three children. They have something in common: my gene pool (sorry kids). They are also very different. I often converse with them as a group (meals, holidays, vacations, etc.). However, the most meaningful conversations happen one-on-one. A conversation with my son in middle school looks remarkably different than my daughter in college.

Your business or organization likely has multiple audiences and segments. Each has different goals and motivations. If you take the time to identify and clarify your audience, you’ll do a better job of creating meaningful communications with them.

The most important question in marketing is a simple question that is often difficult to answer.

Who are we trying to talk to?

Your ability to answer this question will fuel clarity and creativity for your marketing. Every business or organization has multiple audiences: investors, customers, employees, etc.

Here’s an example: if you’re a large publicly-traded bank, who’s your website designed for?

  • The shareholder or fund manager that’s considering investing in you.
  • The prospective customer looking for a loan.
  • The talented finance graudate who could be your next junior associate.

You have to pick one and the one you pick will drive decisions around design, navigation, and content.

Let’s switch it up.

If you’re a small community organization, who’s your website designed for?

  • The donor who makes the work of your organization possible.
  • The community member who needs the types of services you offer.
  • The potential volunteer who’s considering how to get more involved.

If you market to everyone, you end up talking to no one in particular. Every website, social media post, and brochure has to be designed with a particular audience in mind.

Who are you trying to talk to?


P.O. Box 2541
Chattanooga, TN 37409

[email protected]

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