With all the hype and attention to on-line and social media marketing over the last 5 years it is easy to lose sight of some critical fundamentals of marketing. The experts in these fields talk a lot about content but what many of them fail to mention are the foundations of that content.
When developing content the author must consider and write to the level of his or her audience. Whether you are writing about a product, service, topic or trend you must start by understanding where the reader is starting from and where you hope to lead them.
To determine that I like to use a little grass roots acronym I call PIE. The letters stand for determining if you need to Persuade, Inform or Educate the reader based on their knowledge and awareness of the topic.
Every conversation, sales pitch or content development effort has a percentage of these three segments. The size or percentage of each segment is determined by the audience in relationship to the topic.
If the topic is new or unheard of a high percentage of the content will be based on educating the reader about the topic before either of the other agendas can be explored. If the topic is a known entity but you are explaining or updating the reader on the latest upgrades or improvements then a higher degree of the focus will be on informing rather than educating. If the topic is well known or a commodity product then much of the effort will be dedicated to persuading the reader about your position, value or differentiator over the competitive offering.
Imagine a pie chart with three variable segments. Each segment expands or contracts based on the percentage of focus that is required as determined by the starting point of the audience.
To determine this you have to know your audience or market and understand where they are on the PIE chart.
Over the next few weeks I will explore this grass roots approach to marketing in more detail and explain further how each segment; Persuade, Inform or Educate interact with each other and how best to determine the right PIE segments for you and your audience.