Painting a picture

IMC students are taught to ‘paint a picture’ of their target audience, the people who will read their message whether that’s a simple email, a verbal business presentation, an advertisement,  a public relations strategy, or a marketing communications plan. They are taught to dig deeper and further into understanding who they are trying to reach.

If content is king, then perhaps the target market could be crowned queen. It does not matter how great or important the message, if it is not directed to the right person, you lose.

The mantra of who are you trying to reach, who are you communicating with, who are you selling to, or who is interested is repeated throughout all of the classes.

As IMC candidate Tasha Lunny explained in her blog about one recent lesson pertaining to “who”:

“We recently were given an assignment to come up with a writing plan based on a specific scenario handed out in class. My group’s scenario was that we were a recent college grad who had just acquired a new job. The job would require travel; therefore, we would need to reach out to our parents for financial assistance in purchasing a new car. Yes, we got to build the scenario and really put ourselves in their shoes but we went one step further in getting to know Mom and Dad – we made them real.

P1010467With some markers, paper and creativity we brought Mom and Dad to life. Drawing them was not only extremely interesting, but so much fun. Not only did we get to colour, which let’s be honest is fun at all ages, but we also got to realistically image who these people are. What does Dad do for a living? What are Mom’s priorities in life? Do they have pets? Am I their only child? How much money could they realistically give me? What concerns would they have?  It taught me that knowing your target is incredibly important and that you need to know more than their sex, age and income level.”

From markers and demonstrating their creative and artistic talents, the students went on to learn about marketing technology and statistical reports.  In another class they were taught about marketing software that can provide an incredible amount of data about the target.

P1010839Library staffer Chris Woodley provided an excellent lesson on what statistical reports can be generated by the software and what they mean to marketers.

Now IMC students understand how index numbers should (or should not) be used by an astute marketing communications planner who is painting a picture of the target market.

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