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Easily Identify Your Audience

You know you have a message, and you’re pretty sure you have an audience, but do you know if your audience is interested in your message? Whether you’re creating a PowerPoint presentation or social video, the answer lies in understanding who they are and shaping your message to inform their interests.

So, who really is your audience?

I’ve pulled together a few questions to help you define them. Keep track of how many A, B, or C answers you have.

  1. How much does your audience know about your topic?
    1. Very little
    2. Knowledgeable
    3. Experts
  2. How would you like them to feel at the end of your presentation?
    1. Interested to learn more
    2. Informed and ready to socialize your message
    3. Confident and prepared to make a commitment
  3. What are they most interested in learning?
    1. Not interested in the details as much as how it will change the business
    2. The main features and benefits and how will it change the way they work
    3. Will want to know the details of how it works
  4. What motivates them into action?
    1. New ideas
    2. Better understanding
    3. Successful use cases
  5. Which call to action will generate a response?
    1. Follow-up email
    2. Website page
    3. “Free Trial” or “Try it Now”

A B2B audience will typically fall into three groups

If the organization is large, these groups will be more defined, while smaller organizations will cross-over a bit. It’s possible that your audience will be a combination of the groups. In these instances, you can assess which way to shape your presentation content based on the percentages from your answers. For example, if 60% falls into Group B, you may wish to craft content that speaks to the needs of the executive. But, if the split is close – let’s say 30%, 40%, 30% – then you can shape your presentation into content that uses a high-level message for the C-Suite, with segments that branch off into content for the executives and managers. And if you’re creating a video, consider breaking your content up into smaller social videos, each with a message tuned to a specific audience.

A. The C-Suite

C-level members (CEO, CFO, CTO, COO) are the most influential employees of an organization. They develop and work together to ensure that strategies and operations are aligned with established plans and policies.

What business problems can you help solve?

How will this work throughout the organization?

Which use cases can we target where the benefits outweigh the costs?

What would success look like?

How can we quantify success to ensure ROI?

How quickly can we put this into action?

B. The Executive

These people are in charge of specific departments or business units. They implement company strategies, create effective working environments, lead people and report to the higher levels of management.

How will this impact my budget and staff?

Which use cases have proven successes?

Is there built-in security and compliance?

Will it integrate into our business continuity plan?

Can I easily track and report results?

Who else is using this solution/product?

C. The Manager

This group will consist of department, office or product managers that administer work processes making sure they are compliant with the organization’s requirements. They will be interested in detail such as:

Will this solution/product work with my other systems and processes?

How long will it take to my staff to learn?

Will there be a transition period that disrupts our operations?

What support do you offer?

How simple or complex will the implementation be?

Do I have administrative controls and flexibility?

We’re here to help

If you find you’re not sure you hit the mark, or your audience is a bit different than what I’ve identified here, give us a call. We can help you figure out the best approach, which may include combining all your audience’s perspectives into a single presentation. By programming navigation into your presentation, you can customize your message in real-time. The content flow below is an example of a presentation that has a 10-minute CEO overview, a 20-minute executive presentation, and a 30-minute deeper dive for managers.

Click image for full-size PDF

Gwen Ackley
Gwen Ackley