Know your audience

Whether you do marketing for your own small business, a non-profit, or a large company, you need to know your audience and target market in order to be successful.

I received this envelope in the mail:NAPW missed their targetAddressed to me and my company, the envelope, from the National Association of Professional Women (or is that “National Association of Professional Women”?) was lacking one key thing: “Mr.”

Had it been addressed correctly, I would’ve likely tossed the envelope into the recycling bin without a thought. But instead, I was offended. NAPW obviously needs to do more research on whom they’re targeting with their direct mail campaign: I’m a man, and I have no interest in joining an association of professional women.

Had the envelope been addressed to “Mr. Tristan Schmid,” I wouldn’t have been offended, thinking instead that they’re reaching out in the hopes that I encourage women I work with to join the organization.

But instead, I’m writing this post to show that organizations like NAPW need to do basic-level audience research before they try to reach an audience. Not determining things like age, sex, or political affiliation is risky: at the very least, you’ll irritate one person, who may tell others. Not good public relations. And you’re definitely wasting your money.

So no, NAPW, I do not want to join your organization. And I’ll encourage others not to as well, should your name come up. If my name comes up to you again, please include the “Mr.”


Mr. Tristan Schmid