Understanding Your Audience

I drove past this sign on my way home from work today and I laughed out loud. No, I don’t want my clothes coming back smelling like diesel exhaust! Why would anyone even ask that?

Now with Diesel Emissions!

Now with Diesel Emissions!

On closer inspection one could determine that those are in fact signs from two different companies, a dry cleaner and a car maintenance shop. I’m still torn on the middle sign though – it makes sense either way.

The messages from both companies are targeted and customized for their audiences, that’s a fair assumption. A truck driver may just holler for joy and pull right into the shop upon seeing that he can get his truck’s emissions tested. And certainly in-care service at the dry cleaner’s is a nice perk, but together these messages lead to confusion.

It’s like a website, maybe you’ll admit your website.  You have a lot to say and maybe you have a few different stake holders that may want to say things a little differently.  That’s not the problem.  The problem comes when you don’t understand that your message isn’t being understood by your audience.  So take a moment to view your organization from another point of view – like mine: driving down the road, or browsing the internet.  What does your site, your app, or your ad say about your company?  Is it consistent?  Is it targeted?  Does it all make sense when viewed together, or does it smell like exhaust? :)  Just checking!