I posted prototype Version 3 content and learned I need to refocus my strategy around who my target audience is and what they actually want. As I began prototyping my media company Memos of the Future (MOTF), I had a core concept that I wanted to test. But as I work further into the concept I’ve realized that I don’t have a concrete customer profile or an understanding of the target audience. Ie: who are they, what do they want, where would I find them, and what would hook them?
Version 3’s headline was a dud. I wrote it using technical jargon that most people won’t understand. That’s a poor tactic unless I am aiming to attract a highly technical audience. The MOTF publication is hosted on Medium where I write to a broad audience, so highly technical is not a sound tactic. Thinking this through further, it’s helped me to realize that I need to focus much more on who my ideal customer is so that I can better tailer content for them.
At a high level, I want to produce interesting but educational resources on technologies evolution and impact on the short to medium term future. Why is this important? Because of how it will change lives over the next 5,10 and 15 years. That’s been my approach thus far and that’s fine for the macro level publication but not specific enough on a micro basis . So thinking it through, I want to give resources for people to specifically understand how their lives will be disrupted by coming technological change. This can shift as MOTF covers different tech and industries but it should start by focusing on workers and consumers of the industries impacted.
Example: V-1 through V-3 have focused on IoT concepts. IoT is a massive topic that impacts everyone as showcased by the broad opening article I published. This had wide appeal and was well read. It was easy to write a headline to appeal to a wide audience. Diving deeper in the next version to topics on No-Code and Microcontrollers was very niche and would only appeal to a small subset of people. Being very niche is ok, MOTF’s goals are to ultimately go that deep on topics. But it was a mistake to assume both versions would have the same level of engagement. Had V-3 been titled about residential IoT it would have appealed to a wider audience.
So it’s important to take a step back and a high level view of each prototype topic to develop who the target audience is and how to best engage with that audience is a critical step. Prototyping is not about shooting from the hip, it’s about intentional and well aimed action.
In hindsight, V-3’s headline was trash. DIY – Microcontrollers & No-Code are Creating An IoT Revolution was always destined to be a poor hook. I rushed to launch this essay and as a result I think I made some mistakes. Although frustrating, using customer profiles as a guardrail for the future content I produce is a really powerful lesson learned. Moving forward, I will build a process to incorporate building customer profiles into the Hub and Spoke strategy.
My thought process: The Hub has a broader customer profile. The spokes each have a narrower subset of customer profiles. When building the hub and spoke, I need to focus on building out the broad customer set and then refining that for each spoke. In doing so, I can tailor content specifically to each subset of customers and have a better understanding of where to find them. The title should be scripted to hook this user profile. This will also inform effective crossposting on other platforms to drive interested audience to the broader publication.
User profiles matter and must be baked into the process from the start.