There’s a concept that’s pervasive in the content marketing field that each time you put your brand and message in front of the audience – wherever they are in the customer journey – you should “delight” them.

It’s not a bad idea. It encourages you to find new and interesting ways to create a positive impression of your company in the mind of the audience. You want to surprise, inform and help them and they should come away from the interaction feeling as if your company is a good one and one they will consider doing business with in the future.

A basic understanding of audience dynamics will tell you that’s not always possible, and striving to attain such goals, as laudable as they may be, will only drive you a little more insane every time you try.

You can read Part 1 of this series here.

You Will Never Please Everyone

Even the movie that’s been most carefully engineered by a studio that has pored over audience demographics, trends and other data, hiring the actors and creators whose focus group likability is the highest and least controversial, will fall flat for some people. They may actively not like it or, worse, may simply be bored by it. Despite being someone who *should* enjoy the hell out of it on paper, it fails to resonate.

That’s because people are more than what they should be or what the data says they will be.

Creating audience personas is a great idea for any content marketing program. They provide focus to the content being created, allowing you the marketer to hone the message – including voice, tone and call-to-action – in ways that increase the odds it hits them square in the felt or real needs and encourages them to keep moving down the customer journey, enter your conversion funnel or strengthen their connections with your company.

But while Carl is exactly the kind of individual you had in mind when you created the “Experienced Purchasing Manager” persona, your blog post last week, meant to speak to the very real needs felt by someone in that position, didn’t work for him. It came off as a bit rudimentary, like it was intended for someone with half his experience and knowledge. If that’s the kind of advice you have to offer, he may need to take his business elsewhere.

Or maybe he first saw the post in an email right after his boss rejected an idea he’d offered. Or he’s frustrated thinking about how the kids aren’t helping around the house as much as he thinks they should. Or he’s unimpressed because he’s in a good mood after splurging and getting a cup of his favorite coffee and this just doesn’t keep the positive momentum of his morning going, reminding him of work realities.

Whatever the case, it’s statistically impossible to please everyone with everything. In my experience if you can get that number to 50% you’re among the all-time greats.

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