Originally published in the Boulder Daily Camera and the Longmont Daily Times-Call.

It’s Easter, so why am I writing about Peeps and re-targeting target audiences?

Peeps aren’t centerpieces for Easter, but for many children and their parents, the sugary treats are on today’s must-have list. Peeps are right up there with chocolate bunnies, multi-colored eggs and gaudy Easter baskets.

When my son was little, he loved Peeps. Every Easter, his personal Easter Bunny knew to fill his basket with Peeps. Lots of Peeps, no matter what. The lesson was driven home the year Easter Bunny forgot until the evening before Easter. Bunny and her dad drove all over Longmont trying to find Peeps. No luck. On Easter morning, Bunny’s son was Peepless and sad.

Every year since Bunny has bought Peeps well in advance of the big day. She stockpiled Peeps months ahead of time. She bought them whenever and wherever she saw them. Never again would Bunny’s son paw through a basket of plastic green grass searching vainly for just one Peep.

That changed last summer.

Bunny’s son left the nest. He’s on his own studying (hopefully) and finding his way as a young adult. While cleaning out his lair, guess what we found. Peeps. Boxes and packages of unopened Peeps. The now faded yellow, blue and pink chicks petrified to the consistency of granite. They might be good doorstops, but they’re no longer Easter treats.

The Easter Bunny failed to notice that her target audience had changed. At some point, the son gave up Peeps. He just went with the flow to please his mom/Bunny. When the annual Easter basket fuss settled down, he tucked his Peeps in the closet, under his bed or in seldom-opened drawers.

How does this relate to marketing?

Keeping current with changes in the lives of your target customers and clients is critical. Old ways may still suffice, but you can’t afford to be caught in the past.

Change is the only constant. What was interesting and new yesterday isn’t necessarily interesting and new today. What our customers/clients wanted in the past may have fallen by the wayside, replaced by new things that they want now. That’s why it’s important to stay connected, to change by frequently re-targeting your target audiences(s). That’s why it’s essential to ensure that your messaging, placement, delivery systems and offerings still appeal to those you want to reach.

The process starts with really knowing those you are targeting and re-targeting. It entails understanding the desires of current customers/clients and connecting with new ones. It means knowing where your targets now live, their current interests, their age group, their income bracket, their preferences, their likely choices and where they’re getting their information.

Spending money on YouTube videos may be great for some audiences, but it’s a waste of time for others. An extensive advertising campaign may make sense, but if timing and media selection don’t match targets, the returns won’t justify the effort. Much of the discussion, blogging and how-to-articles concerning all of the new social media miss the point. Knowing your target audiences is more important than sending messages to masses of people who really aren’t interested in what you’re trying to say.

Peeps were once the center of my son’s Easter basket. Suddenly my target audience grew up. So I re-targeted my target audience. This year Bunny has a special gift card as a gift for Easter. It’s not for sugary treats. It’s for something every young man wants and needs. It’s a gift card for gas. He tucked it in his wallet, not under his bed.

Bunny heard nary a peep of disappointment.

Happy Easter!

Stacy Cornay is the owner of Communication Concepts Public Relations & Advertising.
Visit www.comm-concepts.com or call 303-651-6612.

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