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Bad Aim, Worse Results

Bad Aim, Worse Results

By: Asif Husain, VP, Fusion PR (@asifnation)

All quality PR strategists segment media lists and tailor messages to target key consumers, but a recent AdAge article takes a look at a Dell campaign aimed at women, and reminds us not to play into stereotypes or risk a lack of genuine appeal to those we are trying to reach. Ultimately Dell may have been attempting to focus on a less tech savvy consumer, but it appears that instead they have offended an important portion of their target segment (check out the feedback in the comments sections here).

So the question becomes, what is the right way to go about it? A former client’s (before they were acquired by WPP) motto used to claim, “market to people as they want to be marketed to.”

With that in mind, the folks at ReachingWomenDaily.com, a site dedicated to “highly relevant & useful insight into what constitute successful marketing to women,” offer particularly poignant advice. Staffed almost entirely by women contributors, they have put together an interesting series, “Reaching Niche Audiences” culminating with the most recent installment which alludes to Dell’s issue: 

“There is no doubt that demographics no longer work…There are too many other users who share the demographics but not the interests and lifestyles.” 

Instead, a better approach is to find the media outlets that address the target audience by their activities on the Web. Rather than delving deeper into a post on behavioral marketing, check out the general tips RWD offers here.

Final thought – your consumers are people, not numbers. When you stop seeing them that way, your approach will become detached and worse yet, you might just offend those you are trying to reach.
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