Tag Archive for: Lifecycle Marketing Guide


How (and why) to Define a Targeted Audience for Your Marketing Campaign

targeted audience

The very first step in your content marketing plan should be to pick your target audience. You’d think this would be common sense; however, skipping this step is actually an extremely common mistake.

The reason it’s such a common mistake is that marketers fear that by really focusing their message on just one audience, they will “lose out” on the hundreds/thousands/millions of other potential customers that aren’t a part of that audience.

The truth is that the benefits of targeting one niche actually outweigh the negatives.

In today’s post, I’m going to walk you through the process that you should follow to select a niche, as well as give you some examples of success.

How Knowing Your Target Audience Affects Content Strategy

Why Should You Pick a Target Market?

The reason that picking a target audience is so important comes down to this: the benefits of doing so far outweigh any downside that you can ever think of.


The Hedgehog Strategy

In the book, Good to Great, by Jim Collins, Jim conducted an extensive study on what makes great companies – as opposed to just good ones – and in the book he talks about something he calls the Hedgehog Strategy.

The point of the strategy is this: you need to find a market that you can totally dominate.

Do you think you could be the #1 marketing agency/consultant/SEO firm for everybody in the entire world? Not likely! There is simply too much competition for you to have any hope of achieving that.

Instead, as Jim points out in his book, great companies are extremely selective about who they are targeting, thereby significantly increasing the odds that they can achieve the #1 position in the mind of their audience.

I agree with Jim Collins and I think that a really killer inbound marketing strategy has to start with picking a very specific audience to create content for. If you have a different opinion, please share it down below in the comments.

How to Define a Targeted Audience

Defining your audience is not as hard as you might think. In the next few paragraphs I’m going to walk you through some ideas and strategies that you can use.

First, let’s use Apple as an example, and look at how they are using the Hedgehog strategy.

Do you think that the people who work at Apple are deeply passionate about creating amazing products?


So, with that in mind, do you think it would make sense that a suitable audience for Apple would be a group of people who believe what Apple believes? Again, I think the answer is yes.

For example, I’m a loyal Apple customer. I own an iMac, a Macbook Pro, an Apple TV, an iPhone, and an iPod mini.


Because I believe that ease of use and a killer design is more important than a bunch of technical details that I don’t care about – and I’m willing to pay more for it.

define a target market

Alienware Hardware Display Page, Notably Different Than The Clean Apple Look

If you go to Apple’s website, you will see that all their messaging is for people just like me. The technical details are there, but they aren’t front and center like they would be with a company like Alienware.

Unlike Apple, Alienware makes PCs for gamers, and these folks are deeply concerned with technical specs and performance. While I’m sure Alienware’s customers enjoy a pretty looking computer, I’m equally sure that aesthetics have very little to do with their buying decision. Theirs is all about performance.

Do you think Alienware cares one bit about regular PC users that don’t play video games? Nope.

Do you think Apple cares one bit about highly price conscious buyers? Nope.

Both of these companies are successful because they know exactly who their customer is and they direct their entire marketing effort to reaching more of them.

Now that we covered why having your target market clearly defined, let’s talk about how to learn more about them, as well as to establish two way communication.

Researching and Connecting With Your Target Market

When it comes to researching and connecting with your target audience, there are several strategies that I suggest you use. They include:

  • Talk to them

Conduct research on:

  • Twitter
  • Discussion Forums
  • LinkedIn Groups
  • Surveys
  • Magazines
  • Facebook

For Twitter, forums, and social networks, make sure that when you first start out that you spend the bulk of your time answering questions for other people. When you do this, the other people in the community are going to become interested in who you are, and when they do that, they will naturally think, “Hey, Dave is a cool guy. I wonder what else Dave has done?” Once you have established yourself as a knowledgeable person, the participants in these communities are going to come and check out your site.

So, with that said, lets have a look at some ways to use each resource.

Primary Research: Talk to Your Customers

If your organization already has a large customer base and you are looking to gain insights into how to attract more of your best customers, there is a very specific, unscripted process that will work well.

The goal here is to understand their psychographics (why they buy) more than their demographics (who they are).

This is a process that I first learned when I interviewed Adele Revella of Buyer Persona Institute. Adele has been doing this type of work for over 25 years and really knows her stuff.

During our interview, she gave me a high level overview of the process that she uses.

First, the person asking the questions cannot be involved in the company’s normal sales process. If they are, the customers aren’t likely to be as candid as they might otherwise be, and if that is the case, you aren’t going to gain the insights needed.

Step 1: Make a list of the customers & prospects who evaluated your firm, as well as your competition

You will want to interview people that chose your firm, as well as those that didn’t.

Step 2: Have a member of your team reach out to each one of them to have a conversation

The key, says Adele, is to not tell your customers that you are doing market research. Instead, you simply want to talk to them about the story of their decision to buy.

To do this, start off with the following question: Dave, take me back to the day when you first decided to look for a new [type of product] and tell me what happened?

According to Adele, it is absolutely critical that you start the ‘meat’ of the conversation with this question. You aren’t looking for random facts (like can be collected with a survey). Instead, you are looking for the story of their decision to make a purchase.

As you listen to them, you want to get them to expand on the story by asking all sorts of follow on questions.

For example, you might ask:

  • How did you come up with a list of potential suppliers?
  • Once you have this list, how did you narrow the list down?
  • Were there things on their websites that affected your decision?
  • If so, what types of things?
  • How else did you research and evaluate each company?
  • Did other people’s opinions factor in?
  • Who were these people?
  • What types of questions did you ask them?
  • Who else in your own company did you collaborate with?
  • What kind of input did they have?
  • Why was it helpful?

As you might guess, there are a LOT of questions that you are going to ask and this is only just a sample. They key is to always focus on the story…as well as asking why they made each mini-decision along the way to the major decision.

If you’d like to dive deeper into how to develop your buyer personas, check out Adele’s blog.

Primary Research: Talk to Your Prospects

If you don’t yet have a large customer base, without a doubt, talking to the people who are in your target market will give you the most insight, when compared to the other strategies below.

In my case, I regularly reach out to people with an invitation to talk to be about being a guest on my podcast. If you don’t have a podcast, tell them you want to talk to them about some research you are doing for an article or ebook that you are writing.

By being a reporter, as opposed to a salesperson, you will find that it is much easier to get your calls and emails returned.

When my prospect accepts my invitation to connect, I start off the conversation by asking them about their business and they results they have achieved. I do this because I am genuinely interested in finding out if they would be a good person to have as a guest on the podcast.

As you might expect, the longer we talk, they more rapport that is built, and when that happens, I can now very easily finished up my pre-interview by asking them some of the following questions:

  • Who would you really like to hear interviewed? (tells me who their influencers are)
  • What blog(s) do you regularly read?
  • Who do you follow on Twitter?
  • What social networks do you spend time on?
  • What magazines do you read?
  • What conferences do you attend?

These are just a few of the questions that I suggest you use. I’m sure you can think of many more.

In addition to these questions, you should also invite your contacts to invest 5 minutes to complete a more detailed survey. The goal of the survey should be to gain additional insights into:

  • Budget levels and/or spending patterns
  • Consumption trends
  • Preferred suppliers
  • Problems they are looking to solve
  • Which conferences/blogs/podcasts/magazines they rely on most

To host the survey, I suggest you use Survey Monkey.

The goal of my conversations is to gain an understanding of:

  • What are the top issues/problems they are looking to solve?
  • What language do they use to describe these problems?
  • Who influenced any decisions they made about choosing a solution provider(s)?

What to Do With This Data

Secondary Research

Once you have completed this primary research, I suggest you take some time to visit the websites that were commonly mentioned as being popular with your target market.

When looking at these sites, you are looking for data on:

  • What are the top posts?
  • What kinds of language is used?
  • What kinds of offers are made?
  • Who is commenting on their content?

Find the Most Popular Posts

To find the top posts, just look for the ones that are shared the most on social media. Posts with a lot of comments are also a strong indication of what is popular.

To help you analyze a site’s posts, I suggest you use Quicksprout’s free tool because it will save you heaps of time.

When you run the report, make sure to click the ‘social media analysis’ tab so you can see which pages were the most popular.



When I first learned of Twitter, I thought it was a huge waste of time. Now that I’m starting to figure out how to use it, I have actually become a pretty big fan.

When it comes to finding your target audience, as well as connecting with them, Twitter is pretty amazing.

define a target market

The Top Twitter Page For PC Gamers

For example, let’s suppose that you wanted to find and connect with hardcore gamers. How could you use Twitter to do that?

Well, you could first begin by looking for “best gaming PC” on Google. When I performed that search, that is how I found out about Alienware.

Next, I pulled up Alienware’s profile on Twitter and noticed that they had 62,672 followers while following only 130 people.

This tells me that Alienware is an influential brand in this space, and, because they don’t follow very many others, I also know that their 62,000 followers are legit. (whenever you see a Twitter profile that has a lot of followers, it can often be the result of their following a lot of others, just to get them to follow back)

The next thing I will want to know about Alienware is how much social authority they have.

Social Authority is ultimately a measure of influential activity. As such, it highlights content that is successful on Twitter. When you find users with high Social Authority, you’re finding great marketing strategies to analyze and mimic. And we think that this will help you be more successful with Twitter. – @peterbray

To discover how much social authority someone has, I’ve been using SEOmoz’s tool, FollowerWonk. This is a powerful tool that makes discovering influential Twitter accounts extremely easy.

As you can see below, Alienware is the most influential Twitter account for the phrase “pc gaming”. When I sorted by the Social Authority column, Alienware’s score of 61 put them on top.

Social Authority, in its simplest definition, is based upon re-tweets. If your tweets get lots of retweets, you have a high social authority. If you want more details on the science behind this, just read the entire post.


Followerwonk for PC gaming tweets

So now that we know Alienware has a high social authority and plenty of followers, the next move is to start connecting with the people that follow Alienware so that you can learn more about them.

To do that, I used FollowerWonk to find people that are interested in Alienware and then I sorted them by social authority. As you can see below, there are two users who actually have more social authority than Alienware. These are definitely people that you want to connect with because they can help you to really understand your audience (by speaking with them), as well as to help you to connect with your audience (by retweeting your tweets).

As you can see below, when I mouse over Anthony Wheeler, his total engagement is 56%. This is a good person to know if you want to learn more about hard core PC gamers, as well as to have the potential to get your content in front of many of them.

Followerwonk Alienware example

Another Example of Followerwonk Capabilities

Even if you don’t have FollowerWonk, Twitter is a total goldmine because it gives you the ability to search the Twitter stream. You can search by topic, by hash tag (#PCGamer) or by user. As soon as you do, you are going to find endless ways to better understand what your target audience is interested in.

Discussion Forums

For virtually every topic you can think of, there is at least one discussion forum. Finding them is easy. Just go to Google and do a search.

define a target market

Discussion Forums Give You An Idea of Customer Engagement

When you participate in a discussion forum, you are going to see first hand what your target audience is interested in, what keeps them awake at night, and what they believe.

LinkedIn Groups

If your company sells to other businesses, I would strongly encourage that you check out LinkedIn Groups as they are very popular among the B2B crowd.

As you can see below, for the phrase, “marketing automation” there are 209 groups; the first of which is called Marketing Automation Experts. This group has 4,218 members, 142 discussions this month, and is considered to be very active.

Do you think that if you were to join this group that you could learn more about people who are interested in this topic? Do you think you could connect with a few of them? Do you think you could position yourself as an expert (assuming you are) within this community? Do you think that if you did, some of them would want to know more about you?

define a target market


Each time I’ve started a new blog, I’m quick to incorporate surveys into my auto-responder sequence. I do this because I want to quickly find out who is reading my blog and what they are interested in. The more I learn about my audience, the better chance I will have of creating content that they will enthusiastically share with their respective followers.

For example, because I ask every new subscriber to complete a welcome survey, I have know that 15.9% of my audience are marketing agency owners, 41% are small business owners and 34% are solo-preneurs.

define a target market

Surveys Give You An Analysis of Your Customers, It Might Be Different Than You Imagined

I also know that lead generation is the #1 challenge faced by my audience, hence why I do so many interviews to address that topic.


Once you have access to this type of information about your audience, you are now in a position to either create more content for the audience you have, so you can expand that audience, or, if the majority of your readers aren’t the exact audience you intended to have, you can now publish more content that will be of interest to your intended audience, as well as to share that content on the social networks where your audience hangs out (which we discovered by using Twitter to ask them directly).

Side Note: Check out this post on How To Know What To Write About.


If you don’t yet know that much about the demographics of your targeted audience, and you don’t yet have a following, don’t despair. There is another way to very easily get the demographic profile for virtually any marketing that you could possibly be interested in.

There isn’t a magazine around that isn’t staffed by a crack team of researchers, all of whom have invested countless hours in market research. You can bet they know exactly who their customer is and exactly what that customer wants to buy.

They know this because they need this information to pass along to their prospective advertisers.

Don’t have the funds for a research team that big? No problem. Just piggy back on the magazines.

For example, when I googled “Field and Stream Media Kit” I was taken right to this page. Once there, all I did was click on the demographics link to learn more about this audience. With just a few clicks of the mouse, I now know the median age, percentage that are college grads, percentage that are employed, percentage that served in the military, etc…

define a target market

Even Magazines Have Online Options


Let’s suppose that I wanted to know how many people in my local area and into hunting and fishing. How could I find that out? With Facebook, this is actually pretty easy to do. It won’t be 100% perfect, but it will be close enough to help you assess if your size of a certain targeted market is large enough.

To do this, just pretend as though you are going to create a paid ad on Facebook. You don’t have to actually publish the ad, but you do want access to the data that going through the ad creation process will give you.

As you can see below, when I did a search for people that lived in San Diego, aged 37 to 57 (I chose this because of the median age from the Field and Stream media kit), who are interested in hunting and fishing, I see that there are 11,120 people. If that number is too small, or too big, you can easily just make changes to your search criteria, and from those changes, you are likely to make some valuable distinctions.

For example, if I change the gender from men only to men and women, the 11,120 increases to 16,840. So, for this topic, I now know that the ratio of men to women is roughly 3:2. For this particular example, the answer was rather obvious beforehand, but that probably won’t be the case in many other niches you could be looking at.

define a target market

Facebook Analytics Usually Offers Interests and Engagement With Brands

I’m sure there are more tools than this, and if you have some good ones to suggest, please be sure and share your thoughts down in the comments below.

Common Mistakes

For companies with an established customer base, the most common mistake is assuming that you understand the psychographics of your best customers. Having a very strong understanding of your company and it’s products is by no means a guarantee that you really understand why your best customers bought.

If you are a younger company, by far the most common and most expensive mistake is trying to be everything to everyone. If you are going to get traction with your target market, you need that market, at least initially, to be as focused as possible so that the content you produce is highly relevant.

If you try to be everything to everyone, you will end up being nothing to no one.

Another common mistake is not taking the time to listen to your audience to really find out what they want (not the same as ‘why’ they buy). Surveys are a terrific way to do this, and if you do, be sure to ask questions that are both multiple choice as well as open-ended, because, while harder to analyze in aggregate, it’s those open-ended questions that can provide you with some really valuable insights.

No point in creating content that doesn’t draw your target audience’s attention. –Natalie Sisson

It’s also worth mentioning that one of the goals of your initial marketing campaign to your newly defined audience should be to further test and validate your chosen niche.

Let’s Recap

A marketing plan that doesn’t begin with a thorough understanding of the needs, wants, and desires of a very specifically designed target market isn’t really a marketing plan at all. Instead, it’s more of a hope and a prayer, and when it comes to business, hope is not a strategy.

Getting clear on who your target audience is has never been easier. Start by investing time in one-to-one conversations. After you have done that, use Twitter, discussion forums, LinkedIn Groups, Surveys, Magazine media kits, and Facebook to gain additional insights.

Not making use of these free resources will significantly reduce the effectiveness of anything that you try, and, even worse, could spell the end of your company before you ever have a chance to really get going.

Put the time into identifying your targeted audience and you will have taken a step that so many small business owners don’t put nearly enough focus on, and you will be in far better shape as a result.

Hey, thanks for the info. Now what?

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How Bill Faeth Used Content Syndication to Grow His Blog Traffic to 40,000 Visitors a Month


Listen in on this podcast as I interview serial entrepreneur extraordinaire Bill Faeth about how he grew traffic to his blog to 25,000 visitors/mo in the first year and 40,000 visitors/mo within two years. Bill shares his unique content syndication strategies, including how he discovers the exact places his buyer persona hangs out online.

He also shares the exact tools he uses to make the most from Twitter, and how he uses Twitter and LinkedIn to research his buyer.

This interview is a gold mine of information – I took two full pages of notes!

Listen now and you’ll hear Bill and I talk about:

  • (04:55) Introduction
  • (07:55) How much of your first year’s revenue came from personal relationships?
  • (14:25) How do you determine which are the most important KPIs are?
  • (20:55) How do you grow your blog to 35,000 visitors/mo within 2 years?
  • (23:55) How are you using Twitter to help promote your content?
  • (31:55) Please explain your content syndication strategy
  • (34:55) How do you get your content syndicated?
  • (40:55) How do you craft an email to get your content syndication?
  • (43:55) How do you build a list of places to syndicate?
  • (47:55) How did you use Twitter to research where your Buyer personas frequent?
  • (52:55) How are you creating this volume of content?
  • (60:55) What is brokermentor.com?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

Additional Resources

About Bill Faeth

A former golf professional, career entrepreneur, and CEO of Inbound Marketing Agents, Bill discovered inbound marketing in 2008 via HubSpot. He quickly became a convert to techniques that allowed him to grow his business faster than ever, while reducing his marketing spend and tracking ROI. Bill is a nationally-recognized expert on small business growth, entrepreneurship, and digital marketing.

Over the last 22 years Bill has successfully launched 21 startups in industries that include eCommerce, transportation, and even a nationwide glow-in-the-dark mini golf business.

How to Use Marketing Automation to Immediately Boost Your Lifetime Customer Value


Ever since Dan Faggella realized the potential of marketing automation, he hasn’t looked back. Dan and I discuss the many benefits of marketing automation, including the low-hanging fruit: the very quickly-realized increase in Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

As you probably know, I’m a huge fan of marketing automation as well, which is why I why have used and recommended Infusionsoft for years. These days, I use HubSpot as well as Infusionsoft (I explain why I use both in the interview below; if you want a more detailed analysis check out my HubSpot vs Infusionsoft post). This is a must-listen if you’ve been thinking of implementing marketing automation in your business, or if you are already using it and want to see a bigger ROI.

Listen now and you’ll hear Dan and I talk about:

  • (03:15) Introduction
  • (04:06) How did you get into business with science of skill?
  • (08:15) Describe how you implemented marketing automation in your business
  • (12:05) How did you first discover marketing automation?
  • (14:15) What were some of your most valuable insights?
  • (17:15) How did you collect data from your users activity?
  • (23:15) Where is the low hanging fruit for marketing automation?
  • (27:05) What is the big red button problem?
  • (31:15) How are you collecting website data?
  • (36:15) What is wrong with collecting only name and email on initial opt in?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Daniel Faggella

Daniel Faggella is a recognized email marketing expert, entrepreneur, and speaker. Dan started his first business in his undergraduate years, and began with his second business while attending the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Master of Applied Positive Psychology program. His expertise lies in targeted marketing strategies and exceptional attention to maximizing the ROI from email.

Dan sold his first business at age 25 and moved from Rhode Island to Boston. Dan’s passion lies in helping startup and existing businesses use marketing automation technology to drastically increase their customer lifetime value (CLV) and drive business metrics that matter.

Dan’s expertise has been recognized not only by the many companies he’s helped directly, but by major media sites such as Direct Marketing News. He has been interviewed on popular shows such as MIXERGYGrowthHacker.tv, Entrepreneur’s Journey, and many others. He also speaks around the country on successful marketing strategy and business, including the eMarketing Association’s national conference, Bryant University, the Cambridge Innovation Center, and more.

How to Attract Retainer Clients Using LinkedIn with Tony Wright


Tony Wright is the CEO of WrightIMC, an integrated marketing agency that did $2.3 million in revenue last year and is on track to earn over $3 million in revenue this year. Want to learn how to get more retainer clients? 90% of WrightIMC’s revenue is retainer income.

Tony also shares his 4-step strategy for SEO, how he uses speaking gigs to land new clients, and why he spends 2 hours per day on LinkedIn.

Listen now and you’ll hear Tony and I talk about:

  • (03:10) Introduction
  • (05:10) What type of services are best for retainer?
  • (06:40) When do you start talking to clients about a retainer?
  • (11:10) What tools do use to track time spent by your team?
  • (13:10) What type of customer do you sell to?
  • (16:10) When did referrals start to play a major role?
  • (17:40) How do you get your speaking gigs?
  • (21:10) How do you use LinkedIn?
  • (29:10) How does content marketing play a role in lead generation?
  • (31:10) What does you first conversation with a prospective client look like?
  • (34:10) How did you get to write for INC magazine?
  • (37:10) What do you do for SEO for a client these days?
  • (41:55) Please expand on your syndication strategy
  • (44:10) How do you tag someone on facebook?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Tony Wright


With more than 14 years of hands-on and strategic experience in interactive marketing and a background in traditional and interactive public relations and journalism, Tony Wright has spent his career helping companies of all sizes be profitable online.

Wright is a search marketing geek and also has extensive experience in online crisis communication and brand reputation strategy, including corporate blogging and corporate monitoring, most notably directing the online corporate reputation management strategy for American Airlines immediately following the events of September 11, 2001. Wright serves as the driving force behind WrightIMC while also managing online media strategies, public relations and other interactive marketing projects for clients. He provides valuable input into creative, technical and strategic projects as well, ensuring that the strategic vision of all interactive marketing programs mesh with campaign goals.

How to Build a Big Agency in a Small Market with Paul Ten Haken


Paul Ten Haken is the CEO of Click Rain, a $3 million business located in South Dakota. Click Rain is a 25-person marketing agency that has been recognized for extraordinary levels of growth.

Learn how Click Rain attracted their very early customers and what has become the number one source of new business for them now.  Paul reveals some potential snags around partnerships and how to avoid them. Finally he explains the deliberate actions to take to build a positive company culture so you have less turnover, happier employees, happier clients, and more referrals.

Listen now and you’ll hear Paul and I talk about:

  • (03:45) Introduction
  • (05:15) Why did you start your company?
  • (06:45) How did you get started?
  • (09:30) What advice would you give to others considering partnerships?
  • (14:45) How did you attract your first 10 customers?
  • (16:45) How do you attract clients now?
  • (21:15) How do you attract and retain talent?
  • (23:45) How are you shaping your culture?
  • (26:45) When did you begin to consciously invest in your company culture?
  • (30:15) Tell us about your content marketing strategy
  • (35:15) Why did you bring on two more partners?

Resources Mentioned

  • Discover the tools we use to run our business and recommendations at GrabTrentsBonus.com

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Paul Ten Haken


Paul Ten Haken represents the personification of web and digital technology and its limitless potential. Since launching his digital marketing firm, Click Rain, in 2008, the company has made its way on to the Inc. 5000 list as one of America’s fastest growing companies. Paul was named as one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top Ten Emerging Entrepreneurs of 2011. He sits on numerous boards and committees and is a respected author, businessman, and member of the community. He credits his spirituality for much of what he defines as success. He and his wife Jill have three outstanding kids and reside in Sioux Falls, SD.

How to Help Your Client Develop a Deep Understanding of Their Ideal Customer Profile


I am a firm believer in the importance of very clearly defining your buyer persona so that you can target your audience effectively with your marketing efforts.

However, the work Jon Pietz does with his clients delves far deeper into this area. He charges handsomely to help his clients fully understand their ideal customers, and for good reason. As a result of our conversation, I’m fully convinced that this is something that – emphasize it as much as I have – I have taken too lightly.

If you’re in the process of developing a buyer persona, suspect you should be, or would like to offer this service to your clients, this is a must-listen.

Listen now and you’ll hear Jon and I talk about:

  • (03:20) Introduction
  • (06:10) What are the three types of research that you do for clients?
  • (09:00) Why doesn’t interviewing your own clients work as well as working with a consultant?
  • (10:30) How do you get an interview started on the right foot?
  • (12:50) How does this style of interview help your client?
  • (17:20) How do you present the results of your work to a client?
  • (19:50) Who hires you and what does this cost?
  • (21:20) How do you make the date actionable?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

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About Jon Pietz

JonPietzIn the creative departments of big advertising agencies, there’s a phrase for marketing that looks slick, but is based on flawed strategy. It’s called ‘polishing a turd’.

Jon Pietz, principal and creative director of Brand X Communications is here to make sure that doesn’t happen to you. Because SMB and B2B companies can’t afford to waste money on marketing that doesn’t attract their most profitable prospects.

After 20 years in the Advertising business, Jon formed Brand X to help B2B companies create memorable brands based on the needs and desires of their ideal customers. And he’s got a process designed specifically for his clients to unleash their brands and find their true believers.

To find out more about how to unleash your brand, visit brandxco.com.

Content Marketing Strategies That Work with Andrew Gaffney

Content Marketing Strategies Expert Andrew Gaffney Interviewed on the BrightIdeas Podcast

Andrew Gaffney is the founder and CEO of Demand Gen Report, a digital publication covering best practices and engagement strategy for lead generation. Founded seven years ago, Demand Gen Report has experienced continuous growth and ranked on the Inc 5000 last year. Since then, their revenues are up another 70% this year.

Andrew is a walking, talking example of developing content marketing strategies that work. Content marketing has played a pivotal role in his organizational growth. He shares how to figure out your buyer persona and how it affects content marketing strategy, what your marketing funnel should look like, and how to combine traditional outbound with content marketing to get much better results.

Listen to the end, and I share how to get a list of all the tools we use to run BrightIdeas. If you choose to purchase using our affiliate links, you will get a bonus!

Listen now and you’ll hear Andrew and I talk about:

  • (02:30) Introduction
  • (05:16) Please tell me about your company
  • (10:30) How do you help clients understand their buyer persona?
  • (12:50) What advice do you give clients on how to really understand their buyer persona?
  • (15:55) Please tell me about the specific process you use to help clients understand their buyers
  • (18:30) How to better look at marketing opportunities to align with your business goals?
  • (19:50) How does a big piece of content fit in with the content strategy?
  • (22:15) How does the length of the sales cycle affect the value of content marketing?
  • (23:30) Please describe the various stages in a marketing funnel
  • (25:30) How have you combined traditional outbound with inbound?
  • (29:30) How has Linkedin played a part of your outbound?
  • (31:30) How are you helping clients use data to validate their assumptions?
  • (32:30) What is sales enablement?

Resources Mentioned


More About This Episode

Content Marketing Strategies InterviewThe Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Andrew Gaffney

Andrew Gaffney

Andrew wears many hats at his growing company, Demand Gen Reports, and its many divisions. He works with many leading solution providers to develop programs that position their company as a thought leader in their respective industry.

Andrew’s company specializes in custom content creation such as white papers, E-books, infographics, webinars, videos & social media that positions their clients as a thought leader and generates leads and sales opportunities. They have several online publications with more than 60,000 loyal subscribers providing their clients with a platform to distribute their message and guaranteeing they get to the people they are trying to reach.

Their divisions include:

  • Retail TouchPoints targeted to decision makers in the retail industry.
  • Demand Gen Report targeted to B2B sales and marketing executives with over 28,000 readers. Get your complimentary subscription!
  • Channel Marketer Report targeted to OEMs / manufactures their partner networks.
  • Content4Demand for healthcare, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, industrial, IT/Telecom and consumer packaged goods companies.


Want Brand Name Clients? Listen to Bill Carmody.

bill-carmody-interview_0 Bill Carmody, CEO of $5M agency Trepoint, has some really great insights for other agency owners, including what he sees as the largest opportunities that agencies can take advantage of right now.

Bill also generously shares his innovative strategies for getting in the door with big name clients (teaser: it has something to do with volleyballs), and then how to do a great job with that first conversation. Actually, both Bill and I share our frameworks for an effective sales call, so if that’s something you’re interested in, be sure to check that out.

You’ll also want to listen to this episode  if you (or your clients) are in the retail space, since Bill shares how technology is truly leveling the playing field for that industry.

Listen now and you’ll hear Bill and I talk about:

  •  (03:15) Introduction
  • (05:15) Who does your company service?
  • (06:45) Do you have retainer levels or project work?
  • (08:15) How have you managed to land name-brand clients?
  • (17:45) Please tell us about the framework that you  use for the very first conversation
  • (22:15) What is content marketing for your firm?
  • (25:15) How has the way people engaged with brands changed in the last 5 years?
  • (26:40) Tell us about Facebook graph search
  • (30:06) How is technology the great equalizer in business today?
  • (30:45) What are Beacons?
  • (39:15) What offerings do you feel holding the next opportunities for agencies in 2014?
  • (42:15) Which mobile ad networks should I consider for media buys?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business. It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Bill Carmody

Bill Carmody
An entrepreneur since the age of 12, Bill Carmody has been a visionary in operating at the nexus of technology and marketing, transforming great ideas into successful marketing programs.

An expert in both the promotions and digital industry, he has been able to harness the power of both to deliver high impact customer engagement for his clients. He was a founding partner and CMO of Seismicom, a leading brand promotions agency. At groundbreaking digital ad agency Modem Media (now Publicis Modem), he was a pioneer in launching some of the first commercial websites including MasterCard.com and CBS.com as well as the first web-based contest for CBS’ March Madness tournament and negotiating MasterCard’s first banner ad on Yahoo.com. His book, Online Promotions, continues to inspire and drive digital promotional innovation.

At Trepoint, where he has been CEO since 2008, he is creating competitive advantage for Challenger Brands like Patak’s, Jose Ole, Tai Pei and Ling Ling by combining the forces of technology and marketing. Passionate about integrating wireless, online, sponsorship, events, and traditional marketing disciplines, Bill has presented at dozens of industry conferences and tradeshows across the globe.

Additional Resources

The How and Why of Creating a Buyer Persona with Chris Handy

chris-handy-interview_0Chris Handy is back on Bright Ideas to dive into why having a buyer persona is such an important tool in any inbound strategy.

We rarely have repeat guests on Bright Ideas (in fact, this is only the second time; in the first interview, Chris shared how he built a $400k two-person agency in just 2 years). I didn’t necessarily plan on bringing Chris back, but on a webinar I heard someone explain some really insightful points about a buyer persona — turns out, Chris ended up being the mystery speaker and he has graciously accepted another invitation to offer some proven tactics on how creating buyer personas have helped grow his business.

This topic relates to ALL business people, and I know you’ll learn a great deal yet again from Chris.

Listen now and you’ll hear Chris and I talk about:

  • (03:00)  Introductions
  • (04:00)  What I’ve been doing with my Podcast and Groove
  • (10:00)  What happened at your first live webinar?
  • (14:30)  Why should I bother with creating a buyer persona?
  • (19:00)  How many buyer personas should you have?
  • (21:45)  How do you create a buyer persona?
  • (27:00)  How do you use the persona in your content marketing?
  • (29:00)  How do you use the persona in your lead nurturing strategy?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Chris Handy

ChrisHandyChris Handy is the Founder & CEO of ThinkHandy, a sales and marketing alignment consultancy in Fort Worth, TX. Apart from starting ThinkHandy, Chris has also done work for eRecyclingCorps, Easysale Inc, and EzBayer.

Chris’ company is Hubspot Certified and has an extensive inbound marketing background. Chris is a graduate of the Univeristy of Texas at Arlington in Management and Marketing and is a self-proclaimed Saved By The Bell “Trivia Master”.


MailChimp vs Infusionsoft: How MailChimp is Holding You Back


I’m often asked by people that are unfamiliar with Infusionsoft if they should pick it, or a simpler software like MailChimp for their email marketing. What these people fail to understand is the magnitude of the differences between these two applications.

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