The Importance of Knowing Your Audience

The Importance of Knowing Your Audience

A few weeks ago, I attended a networking event to assist aspiring entrepreneurs, giving them career advice and providing them with the opportunity to practice their pitch. An attendee of the event (who was delightful) shared the advice that Millennials were lazy and they should be prepared for that when moving into a leadership role. As a Millennial and someone who has not only always worked hard, but also volunteered heavily and served in numerous leadership roles personally and professionally, I was a bit taken aback. If that is the definition of lazy, I’m completely confused.

I countered the lazy millennial argument by explaining the importance of knowing your audience. The problem in this situation isn’t that Millennials are “lazy,” it is that their values, life experiences and career expectations are different than other generations (and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing). I then explained that as a Millennial, I viewed Baby Boomers as technology-ignorant, workaholic, helicopter parents.

Now, I don’t really feel that way, but I trying to make a point. That point was that whether as a leader in the workplace or a marketer, knowing your audience is instrumental to your success. There are a variety of different demographic factors that shape an individual’s perception: religious beliefs, socioeconomic factors, age, race, gender, etc. When developing a marketing, advertising or public relations campaign, the first step is to identify your target audience. When framing your message and how you will deliver that message, it is critical to use strategies that make sense for your specific audience. For example, you wouldn’t use Snap Chat to market to 70 year olds, just as you wouldn’t use daytime television ads to market to teens.

My suggestion to my friend at the event was to study the traits and characteristics that make each generation unique. Then, develop a flexible leadership style that allows you to support your team members in the way that they need. When developing your marketing plan, I encourage you to do the same. Of course, if you ever need help, I’m here! Shoot me an email at

Jennifer Garrott