Creating Connection and Identifying with Your Target Market: Lessons from a Legendary Concert

As an internet legend (and a young pup according to Frank Kern), I may still be on the good side of 100, as I recently enjoyed a fantastic concert experience with my daughter Rachel and wife. We were fortunate to secure last-minute tickets to the unforgettable Prince concert here in Atlanta. Prince, a master musician, knows how to captivate his audience and truly play with their emotions.

Amidst the exhilarating performance, I couldn’t help but draw marketing concepts and lessons from the concert. The opening act, Morris Day and the Time, understood how to rev up the crowd. In their energetic 30-40 minute set, they cleverly mentioned Atlanta, A-T-L, and Georgia around 20 times. Their questions like “Are you ready to party…Atlanta?” and statements like “We love A-T-L!” instantly connected with the audience’s sense of identity and garnered an enthusiastic response. This served as proof that people never tire of hearing positive things about themselves.

Prince, however, took this connection to a higher level. I lost count, but he must have mentioned those magic words—Atlanta, A-T-L, and Georgia—around 70-80 times. The crowd remained engaged and enthralled throughout, demonstrating that a strong connection with your target market can truly captivate and hold their attention.

What truly brought down the house and solidified Prince’s ownership of the audience was the tribute to the late Ray Charles. One of the horn players delivered an outstanding rendition of “Georgia On My Mind,” eliciting a standing ovation. While they may perform this tribute at every concert, its significance was particularly poignant in Georgia.

The vital marketing lesson here is the need to establish a genuine connection with your target market. Generic phrases won’t effectively accomplish this. Consider the choices for opening a headline and the impact they have on identification:

“Drivers”: Doesn’t capture attention.
“Truck Drivers”: Somewhat defined, allowing for limited identification.
“Long Haul Truck Drivers”: More specific, increasing the chances of identification.
“Georgia Long Haul Truck Drivers”: Narrowing down the target for a stronger identification.
As you can see, the more precisely you define your target market, the stronger the prospect’s identification with your message. This heightened identification leads to increased attention, bringing you closer to making a sale.

You can also create identification by addressing a specific problem that your target market faces. For example, combining the phrase “Are You Overworked And Underpaid?” with “Georgia Long Haul Truckers” would greatly enhance your readership. By following the classic sales pattern of identifying a problem, agitating the reader about it, and delivering the perfect solution, you can create a powerful impact.

According to my friend and mentor, Dan Kennedy, if you can identify the two or three things that keep your prospect awake at 3 a.m., with their stomach churning from boiling acid, then you can step into their shoes and establish instant identification.

So, when you’re contemplating your marketing and sales campaigns (which should be most of the time), take a moment to focus on how you can closely identify with your target audience. It is in this connection and identification that you’ll find success.