Star Wars has just broken the one billion dollar mark in worldwide box office sales, beating Jurassic World in the fastest climb to that mark.Star_Wars

I didn’t contribute to either of those coffers. But then again, I’m not their primary audience.

Be that as it may, there are a swag of marketing lessons to be learnt from Disney taking over the Star Wars franchise. The primary one being, know your audience.

It’s been 10 years since fans were disappointed with the last incarnation from George Lucas. Conventional wisdom has it that Episodes I, II and III didn’t hit the mark.

It appears that Disney listened. Brought in J.J. Abrams who brought back old characters and a whole bunch of nostalgia. Quite obviously the fans have loved it.

So what’s this got to do with what you sell?

One of the most common mistakes businesses make is that they think they already understand their clients and know what they want.

But they don’t. More often than not they don’t have the foggiest idea who their target market is and what they want.

Lucas indulged himself – not the audience. Brought in characters like Jar Jar Binks who seems to be universally hated by fans. The corollary in business is introducing a new product/service which none of your customers want. Pointless!

But the largest and most expensive mistake is trying to attract “everybody”. Being a Jack of All Trades means you’ll end up attracting no one specifically. And that makes it very hard to market to them.

Therefore you must first define exactly who your audience is. Get specific.

Who would make an IDEAL client. Who is most likely to buy and at a premium price.

There are two aspects to this.

Demographics and psychographics.

Demographics are quantifiable physical attributes.

Industry, size of business, location, age ranges of individual consumers, gender, occupation, income level and education.

Remarkably, the Star Wars demographic spans generations. Kids who weren’t even born when the first movie came out in 1977 are now rabid fans as are adults in their 50’s and 60’s.

A typical Star Wars fan is likely male, aged 18-44, watches science, history and horror TV shows and works in IT or legal.

But if you stopped there you’d be short changing yourself.

Here is a fascinating Forbes article which breaks down the demographic by lead character in the movie. The figures come from Quantcast which measures online behaviour.

Princess Leia’s fans tend to be women over 45 and work in software.

Han Solo has the youngest and lowest-earning fans compared to the other legacy characters and are most likely to work in retail or construction.

You can read the article for the rest of the breakdown.

However demographics are only half the equation. Equally if not more important is the psychology of why your customer buys. Emotional triggers.

Knowing the demographic can give you very accurate pointers as to the likely psychology of your audience.

What’s the conversation going on in their heads? Who do they identify with? What are their irrational fears and deepest desires? What problems do they want to solve? How will they feel when they get what they want? Or not? Who do they want to protect? Who is the enemy in common?

And it’s the combination which gives you the keys to getting their buy in.

So what do your clients want? And could you describe them in detail?

If not, I strongly suggest you take the time to do so. Because the clearer you get, the better you can target.

And if you’re finding this difficult, give us a hoy. We can work through our Avatar Template and come up with a set of ideal clients based on the demographics and psychographics you currently serve and who you would like to serve in the future. And of course create the message and way to target them most effectively.

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