Identifying Your Market – America as Several Nations?

A depiction of the United States - as different nations
A depiction of the United States – as different nations

Today I came across a very interesting article “Up In Arms” which made me think.  The article discusses how America (and some of Canada) was founded by different people with different ideals.  Dissecting American traits about gun control and violence, it occurred to me that the same differences might actually be applied toward social media marketing.  After all, our job as marketers is to identify our clients needs and drive traffic toward a result, not to pick sides or push ideals.   That being said, I am writing this blog not to answer questions or give some great advice, merely to point out things to consider.

1: You say potato – I say patato

Lets take this example of the common soft drink.  On the west coast – it is a soda or a coke.  I had a friend from Michigan who always called it a pop.  I have heard east-coasters commonly refer to it as a soft drink.  Californians will drink straight from a can, while a New Yorker will usually put a straw in the can.  These differences seem trite, but in marketing, are they?

2:  Where are you marketing again?

Hypothetical: You live in Kansas, and you are doing work for a client in New York.  We all know there are cultural differences, both geographic and otherwise.  You have your demographic worked out for your target audience, which as a social media person, you are keenly aware of.  The product is clear and you are to market it to Florida.  We all are aware of politics, so playing neutral is always the smart choice.   Now comes the one thing I never considered before, beyond just surface culture, politics, demographics.  I pose the question: what if Kansas was England,  New York was Germany, and Florida was Australia.  Your marketing would change – right?

3: What is good for the goose – may not be good for the gander

This is the hardest one that  eventually we all must struggle with.  You have a great client who wants to expand.  The marketing and image has worked in their home area for years.  They have offices in the greater Chicago area.  For some reason they have decided to expand into Dallas.  They wish to keep their image and marketing exactly the same.  Most of us know those two cities are different on many levels.  What may be harder is to fashion a social media campaign that keeps the original area intact while embracing the new area.   You are not going to tell your client no – right?  Put it another way, the post you put up for them in Chicago may not be engaging in Texas and vice-versa.  The post you know will work in Texas might put off your client and your don’t want to address that phone call either.

These are challenges that we all must face, from the clients wishes to the consumers palette – we are the chosen ones who must deliver.

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