Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.


Power Direct Marketing: The Book

Profile of Your Audience: A Portrait of One

I would to God thou and I knew where a commodity of good names
were to be bought.

Shakespeare — King Henry IV

Selection of the right audience is the single most important element in every direct response marketing program. Without proper identification of the audience, your offer, all creative development—everything else—is for nothing.

How much can you afford to spend to get a new customer? How much is that new customer worth to you over time? And, once you determine the answers to these two questions, how do you find the right audience?

You begin by profiling your current customers. You clearly identify who you presently sell. If you are new or your product is new, your experience in the marketplace; good, sound common sense; asking others in the field; surveys; in-depth research; or most likely a combination of several of these ideas will provide you with a guide.

Ira Belth, a noted authority on business lists, said a most interesting thing—which just happens to be equally applicable to consumer lists:

When it comes to direct response marketing you must appreciate that a mailing list is NOT a mailing list. It is an alignment of carefully selected people—people to whom you want to sell something. To achieve a high effectiveness quotient, your campaign has to be delivered to the individual buyers, specifiers, and influencers.

The emphasis is on the individual, because you must remember that your collective audience is not a collection at all, it is one person at a time! No matter what you sell, its purpose or service, its price or value, its application for work or home, pleasure or serious—people make buying decisions. Your audience is a list of individuals.

You must also know the ideal audience for your product or services does exist. Somewhere. Standard Rate & Data Services (SRDS) may list it in one of their directories. Ira Belth may have it in his file. It could be from the Yellow Pages. Or from a trade industry or association membership list.

It might be a special interest magazine subscription file. Or members of the church in your town. All students in the sixth grade. Or women over the age of 40. It could be the 79 sugar beet processors in the United States. Or the 800 marble bath tub manufacturers.

The 1,427 cotton ginners. 1,974 acupuncturists. 248 dude ranches or 5,258 logging camps. 327 beekeepers, 503 tattoo services, or 829 xylophone players.

There are nearly 290 million people in North America . . . the United States and Canada combined. Plus close to another 90 million in Mexico. Collectively about 20 million companies between those three countries. And over 140 million households. There are clearly identifiable and reachable groups of chemical engineers. Surgeons. Optometrists. Black opinion leaders. Chief financial officers of Fortune 1000 companies. Meat packing plants. School bus manufacturers. Diaper services. Music libraries.

There are at least 40,000 different business lists, 28,000 mail-order buyer lists—and probably something close to 100,000 total mailing lists and other sources for you to find your right audience.

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