I often read free magazines targeted to specific sub-groups or demographics, specifically those that I don’t belong to myself. I find that it helps me understand different perspectives (even if I do get weird looks reading them at coffee shops), but it’s also very interesting from an advertising and marketing perspective to see the advertisements targeted to these groups.
One thing I’ve noticed is, especially with these magazines, it’s very easy to tell who created an ad specifically for the target market and who used one of their regular ads.
- Realtor ads in magazines targeted towards the LGBTQ community that show a happy heterosexual couple.
- Restaurant ads in magazines targeting Hispanics showing a group of non-Hispanics dining at the restaurant.
Especially when next to ads that are very targeted to the target market, the generic ads seem like a half-hearted attempt to connect to the target audience or that you don’t understand the target audience, which means it very likely will cause more harm than good.
Plan and budget advertising design for specific target markets
If your company plans to advertise in spaces for specific sub-groups or demographics, be sure to include in your budget and project management plans the necessary time and resources to develop specific ads that speak to the target audience. It may sometimes be as simple as changing a photo, but if you want to be truly effective, you need to start the development process from scratch and develop something that specifically speaks to the target audience.