Criterion A(.4) – Marketing Specs

Criterion A(.4) – Marketing Specs

Edison back again, Visitor, to help with the Marketing Specifications (Criterion A.4) for your IA Design Project.

You're already familiar with the RubricVisitor, right?  You know I'm going to mention it every time.

Now, your specifications are going to be crucial to the entire rest of your project, so let's get them nailed down right, OK?  Marketing specs cover a lot of ground, so we'll break it into a couple jobs.

First, let's look at the Target Market and Target Audience.  These are closely related but distinct groups that you need to clearly define in your Criterion A.

Target Market

These are the people that will buy your product or solution.  A market definition usually starts out pretty broadly, then gets narrower as you add restrictions.  (You can review Topic 9.2 about this, too.)

  • Start with the major market sector you are targeting:  retail, government, healthcare, entertainment, sports, NGO/non-profit, home-owners, etc.
  • Next, consider the geographic limitations.  Which continent, country, region, or city defines your customer base?
    • Sure, everyone in the world in your sector could benefit from your amazing product.  Now put those dreams away and think practically.  Who will buy it to begin with?  You can plan world domination later.  ;-)
  • What demographic limits are there on your likely customers?  Age, gender, religion, ethnicity, language, height, weight, physical fitness, and so on can all be relevant to defining your market.
  • Add psychographics or sociographics.  What behavior patterns, preferences and beliefs are characteristic of your customers?  Who do they hang out with, what do they talk about/read about/worry about?

Target Audience

Your audience is nearly always smaller than your market.  You can think about target audience three different ways:

  1. These are the people to whom you'll advertise your product.  This may be the same as your target market.  But it may be different.  For example, Lego Group's toys are aimed at a target audience of children and a target market of parents.  Their ads clearly target children, even though parents will be the ones actually buying the product.
  2. These are the people who influence your market.  Even though they don't necessarily buy your product, their opinion is important because your customers listen to them or are otherwise influenced by them.  Examples of this sort of group might include the parent/kid pairing above, patients/doctors, or viewers/critics.

Only you can define if your audience is best defined by 1, 2, 3, or a combination of these approaches.

OK, Visitor, that's enough to digest for now.  Define your market and audience.  Write it up in your IA file and post the link to your google doc here.

Dead center, Visitor.  Now, if you're at the SL level, feel free to click through to the next job.

For you HL folks, I have a power technique you can add to that target audience definition: personae.

These are detailed profiles of your target audience.  Making the persona into a real sounding person is a great way to empathize with your customers and begin to really understand them.

To help with that, Nolat Labs has a template you can use to build your personae.  (persona is singular; personae is the plural; there's no such thing as personas)

Use that to create at least a couple personae.  May a male and a female, or a primary and secondary (reread Topic 7.3 if you don't remember those).  Then put a link to your personae into your Criterion A.  (You might use your personae later, in the Criterion itself.)  When you've done that, go ahead and claim your Mastery for this job.

That's leveled off.  Now let's put some attention on the second half of your Marketing Specs: market analysis, user need and competition.

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