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Issue #34
May 25, 2022

My take on the intersection of marketing + life

Hi , 👋

Have you ever gone to an elementary school commencement and listened to the principal’s address?

They typically vacillate between the two audiences they must appeal to:
the parents and the student body.

This lends itself to a lot of audience confusion.

“Students, you must…” and “Parents, you have…” in the middle of the speech - not to mention that divergent messages are hard to rein into a single thesis or take-away at the end.

The principal is faced with 3 options:

👉 Choose one audience and kick it out of the park for them

👉 Dedicate half the speech to the parents, half to students

👉 Talk to both simultaneously

None sound particularly great.

Does this problem ring a bell? 🔔

Does your marketing team also write for a two-tiered audience?

Think: first tier (an insurance broker) and second tier (an insured business).

For many of my clients, this is a major challenge. If you’re an insurance company, brokers bring you the business, but you’re ultimately selling to and protecting the insured business.

How can you appeal to two clients at the same time with effective content? The answer is, it’s nearly impossible. Here’s why:
1. Creating content that appeals to both audiences runs the risk of:
  • Not really reaching anyone
  • Causing reader confusion  

2. Creating two separate channels of content means the reader always gets exactly what they want/need from you. But:

  • It’s costly
  • Everyone’s constantly wondering: “Who is this blog for?”
  • You have two different distribution schedules

3. Creating content for one of your audiences and hoping both benefit is often done.                   Many get this wrong. To do so successfully, you must talk to the second tier exclusively – never the first.                                                                                

Here's how this plays out: Your broker will appreciate things the insured business needs to know, but the insured business will never appreciate what the broker needs to know.

Still, one-sided content can:

  • Leave the first tier customer feeling largely ignored

If you’ve got a dual audience, your marketing team may not be in alignment as to how you should reach both simultaneously.

So... What’s the solution?

👉 The 75/25 rule. 👈

- Create single-audience content 75% of the time, aimed at the second tier (insured business).

- Run a separate content channel 25% of the time, dedicated to the first tier (broker).

Here’s how to do it:

📢 Be the Pied Piper 75% of the time. When you talk directly to the second tier, you drag the first tier along.

KEY: When content is written for the second tier, the first tier hears you loud and clear because the first tier ultimately cares more about the second tier’s needs than their own.

EXAMPLE: When you write for the insured business, the broker also learns about the policies, the best practices for safety, and more.
But, never vice versa. That's key.

☎️ Play telephone 25% of the time. Talk directly to your first tier audience sometimes too.

EXAMPLE: When you write for the broker exclusively, only the broker hears you. The insured business has no interest and that’s ok because sometimes the broker needs to be addressed directly. This is still 25% of your content program — a decent amount — so don't forget to strategize for it and build an audience.

Bottom line:

👯 A dual-focused content strategy works, but only when you are intentional about it.

⚖️ Follow the 75/25 rule.

📢 Be the Pied Piper and bring your first tier along as you reach your second tier audience  most of the time.

☎️ Talk directly to your first tier when you have something only they need to hear.

You got this.

All the best,

Stuff worth reading

B2B Marketing: Are you a CMO worried about budget?

Forbes: 16 Tips to boost storytelling

Mark Schaefer: 10 ideas about the future of content marketing

Orbit Media Studios:
Content strategy explained in 180 seconds

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