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AC Hotel Shower in Des Moines

Innovation in a Bathroom Shower

Defining a target audience is difficult. To understand your best audience, you have to think of marketing like a tennis racket: You can hit the ball with any part of the racket, but the best place is a small space called the sweet spot. You may think you sell your services and products to everyone, but you will be so much more effective when you narrow and specialize your messaging to the sweet spot.

How do you find that sweet spot? You must start by doing a data dive on any internal information you have. Then you need to do interviews, surveys and focus groups of the identified audience cohort. It’s not easy, but you must find out how your target audience feels about your organization and how they interact with it. You need to know the good and bad.

AC Hotel Shower in Des MoinesWhen I was in a hotel shower recently, it hit me: Listening and analyzing your target audience can have a huge impact. Take a look at the photo of the hotel shower. Do you see a big difference? The shower controls are on the opposite end of the shower from where the door opens. Some smart engineer was really thinking about how people use a shower and the best location to place the temperature controls for the best user experience.

Most hotel showers put the controls under the showerhead. You can’t help but be blasted by ice-cold water before you find your temperature. This change of moving the controls to the opposite end was simple, but I’ll never look at showers the same way again. I’m sure it took some arguments with the contractor, but in the end the engineer was thinking more like a consumer, rather than what would be easier for a contractor.

That’s what it should be like, finding your voice with target audiences. It will not seem right at first as you break through the established ways of doing or saying things. It definitely will not be comfortable for internal audiences, but it will clean up with your target audiences.

When you start doing voice search strategy, the most important factor is “knowing” your audience. Not pandering to your audience, but really knowing their hopes, dreams and problems.

Mark Mathis III is chief creative & strategy officer, partner and cofounder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.

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Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle.

With that kind of experience, after working at KWWL for 12 years, Mark became one of the founding partners of ME&V and, subsequently, AMPERAGE. Today, he leads the AMPERAGE creative teams, including video production, graphic design, public relations, writing and web development.

He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.”

Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.”

One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board.

Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.