from author: This article was originally
written for people advertising martial
arts schools. The principles of targeting are
the same no matter what you are
How well you
target your advertising will
determine your advertising success.
Targeting means you put your ad in front of the
people most likely to respond to it. It also
means that you tailor your ad to that audience,
so they are more likely to respond.
The first thing you
need to do is to figure out who your audience
is. If you are trying to sell your kids program
you want to target parents. If your ad
is for daytime classes you might target
stay at home moms. Think about what you want
your ad to do and the audience most likely to
make it happen.
Make sure your targeted
audience has the money to take advantage of
your offer. Sending out a direct mail ad for
$2000 weekend seminar in a town where biggest
employer just laid everybody off is
probably not going to work.
Try drawing up a
profile of someone in your typical demographic.
It might be a list of characteristics like
this: Unmarried male age 25-40, college
educated, income over $35,000 per year, health
conscious (non-smoker) lives within 5 miles of
How does this
information help you?
The first way this
helps you is that it tells you where to place
your ad. Going by this demographic profile I
might place a print ad in the sports section of
the local newspaper. I might also put flyers in
health food stores, gyms, and other
establishments. I could also predict what radio
and TV shows my demographic is likely to
The next way this helps
me is that it helps me write my ad. With this
demographic I may decide to present my martial
arts classes as a powerful, intellectually
stimulating, and health promoting experience. I
am guessing that these are things my
demographic might be interested in.
It will also help me
with the design of my ad. I do want my ad to
stand out, but I will look at other ads
targeted to this demographic and see what other
advertisers use to appeal to my
If I were targeting
young women (who are sadly underrepresented in
the martial arts) I would definitely use a
picture of a woman or women in my ad. Martial
arts can sometimes be perceived as a boy's game
– so, to attract women you have to show that
your school is also appealing to women. I might
even have glowing testimonials from several of
your female students.
Severe WARNING: I do
not use fear to advertise my self defense or
martial arts classes. I once read an ad -
printed in red, which talked about how women
who didn't sign up for a self defense class
might be the victim of sexual assault. I not
only find this in really bad taste, but it's a
terrible advertising idea.
Your ads should only be
about positive things or people will start to
associate being scared with your school. This
is an important concept when it comes to
"branding". People should associate feeling
empowered with your school.
To fill your kids'
classes with vibrant energetic youth, you want
to attract parents who want the best for their
kids. Your ad should make parents feel like
they are really doing right by their kids by
signing them up. Tell them how your young
students get better grades, have more
self-discipline, and wind up happier kids with
lots of friends who are into healthy
Place your ad for kids
classes in a local paper when they run a
special article or section on parenting. Place
your ads at a local arcade, or grocery store.
Look for parents with young kids – not babies
and toddlers unless you're teaching baby
John Moore is the
world's first Black belt Copywriter, writing
compelling and powerful ads for martial arts
business. See more about him at http://www.blackbeltcopywriter.com