In 1993 I watched from behind the glass as a focus group of young women unanimously agreed about the most useful thing to their morning routine. It was a morning radio disc jockey’s “Color of the Day” feature.
All they had to do was to listen for the color of the day, then choose an outfit of that color. One less decision to be made by busy wives and mothers during the most hectic part of their day.
The ladies perceived local traffic to be a major issue, too, even though none of the men we interviewed shared their opinion (or for that matter found any value in the Color of the Day). Those features would be useless clutter to a radio station trying to attract as listeners the men we interviewed.
But a station attempting to gain the ladies in my story as listeners would be well advised to add morning traffic reports to their Color of the Day.
What’s meaningful to one group of people is frequently meaningless to another.
As marketers we need to understand the people we’re targeting. We need to appreciate the topics they believe to be important, and craft messages which talk about those issues at an emotional level appropriate to the strength of their belief.
We don’t care what non-prospects think of our message.
In the focus group example the things the women found valuable, the men thought silly. (Tuck that away for the next time someone wants an ad to reach “everybody”). But when it came to the Color of the Day or a morning traffic report, it didn’t matter whether those men reacted at all. They were not the target.
I direct your attention to Roche Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline’s current television ad for Boniva.
Boniva is the trade name for ibandronatef. It’s prescribed as a treatment for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Sally Field is their celebrity spokesperson. Since her osteoporosis diagnosis in 2005 she has taken Boniva to build bone mass.
The ad opens on a close-up of Ms. Field.
My girlfriend and I were talking about osteoporosis and she told me she has to set aside time one morning every week to take her osteoporosis pill. I said, “I take once monthly Boniva. It fits my routine.” And she said “That I can do.” Boniva helps build strong, healthy bones to prevent fractures with just one pill a month. With all I do for bone health Boniva fits right in.
Now, despite the derogetory comments of two gentlemen friends of mine, I’m betting that the research indicates post menopausal women find setting aside time to swallow a pill to be a real issue.
My friends opined that worrying about the time required to swallow one pill a week is ridiculous. But then, they still don’t really believe the surveys which show women prefer chocolate to sex. And frankly, we don’t CARE what they think. Neither of these gentlemen will ever purchase Boniva, or recommend it. To Boniva’s marketers, my friends don’t even exist.