Do you know what your audience needs?

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Naira Perez helps us understand the importance of knowing how to help your audience find what they need.

On what felt like the hottest day of the year, a group of local makers gathered at Portland Made founder Kelley Webb’s ADX (Art Design Xchange) in Southeast Portland for August’s Maker Meetup. Paper plates originally intended for local snacks doubled as fans, and the beverage cooler was well-stocked to keep everyone comfortable. The heat didn’t seem to deter many attendees, though: The expansive space was absolutely packed (albeit not so much that a four-legged guest couldn’t weave his way through the audience for pets). 

This month’s Meetup was all about executing a marketing campaign, and director Meghan Sinnott tapped her former colleague Naira Perez, owner of SpringHill Digital, to walk us through the development of one. Perez is a wizard of paid media, and she proved that early on through her use of statistics and easily digestible examples. 

As both consumers and entrepreneurs, we all know how quickly attention can be diverted: Consumers move fast and often in unexpected ways (how many YouTube rabbit holes have you gone down?). And advertising on social media, while potentially effective, needs to be seen as what it is from the consumer’s perspective—an interruption in their entertainment. Be mindful of how—and when—you ask for their attention.

In fact, Perez continued, less than 10 percent of people that could be your audience actively know the solution and may be receptive to a direct ask. So be careful with your approach. Perez used the concept of temperature as a guide for how to address your potential customers: Cold (for those who don’t know you at all), warm (for those who may know of you but aren’t ready to make a move), and hot (for those who know and love you). 

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If you’re reaching out to a cold audience, you’re trying to build a relationship, so don’t come on too strong, and rather than ask them to act, show them how you’re invested in them and their community. If you’re reaching out to a warm or hot audience, you want to lower any additional barriers, maybe with an introductory (or returning customer) discount. It’s worth noting that 40 to 60 percent of sales come from warm and hot audiences, so investing more of your time, energy, and budget into these ads is probably wise. 

Perez also provided some more technical details in her presentation (which you can watch in full here) and was very positive and clear in her answers to the audience’s questions. 

As with all Maker Meetups, this one ended with a tour of the space, including one very special corner: The new headquarters for Portland Made! Director Meghan Sinnott made sure to note that Portland Made’s office was in the air-conditioned part of the building and that there is additional space for rent. Best yet, if Portland Made members sign up for space now, you get a discounted rate at an already affordable facility. 

Be sure to join us on September 12 for our next Meetup at WeWork US Custom House, where we’ll be discussion Lean optimization with OMEP

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Words by Katey Trnka

Photography by Sarah Toor