Targeted Marketing: Word Choice


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You Talking to Me?

Here’s a story about targeted marketing:

Once upon a time, Poppin was about to host a breakfast event at its new showroom—a meet-n-greet with Kelly Hooey, founder of Women Innovate Mobile. I was asked to give the invitation copy a quick once-over before it was sent.

The draft I received was focused entirely on style, hot looks, and staying on trend.

At the time, I didn’t know anything about Women Innovate Mobile, but its name and the mere fact that guests were being baited to the gathering with the chance to meet its founder didn’t quite jibe with the Dress-Your-Desk copy, which seemed to have been repurposed from Fashion Week.

When In Doubt, Google.

So I googled.

As it turns out, Women Innovate Mobile offers seed funding to women-founded mobile start-ups. Thus, the event was an opportunity for innovative and ambitious women to network and appeal for funding—while checking out Poppin’s equally innovative furnishings, should they wish to appropriately overhaul their office digs.

Stylish as any of these women may be, a fashion-centric invite was entirely beside the point. It had nothing to do with the way these women brand themselves.

So I gave the invite a complete overhaul, trumpeting innovation and accomplishment in lieu of the Dressy-Bessy approach.

Fortunately, I had already invested a good amount of time exploring various possible Poppin positionings and developing language specific to each target—from entrepreneurs to academics; from fashionistas to industrial architects; from start-up companies to stately institutions; from office managers to office Romeos; from students to CEOs hoping to boost employee morale.

If the tone and attitude—and the persona’s range of knowledge is consistent—skewing a piece of collateral toward a specific segment doesn’t mean that your brand’s character has suddenly gone spineless and pandering, like a teenage social chameleon.

With a good grip on the brand and its spectrum of positioning possibilities, I’ve been able to work vocabulary to suit the specific segment addressed while always maintaining the signature sass and savvy intrinsic to Poppin’s brand voice.

The Moral: Know Thy Audience—and Stay True to Thy Brand.

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