There is a sweet simplicity in targeting your market. By tightening the “Who” your message becomes infinitely more customized and powerful. In the movie Minority Report, advertising worked by instant, personal recognition. The technology in the movie was able to pinpoint each viewer and speak to them directly. By targeting your audience you can take advantage of all the things your group has in common, and you are better able to understand what is going on in the prospect’s brain. All of this will result in better results for your marketing.

Your job as a marketer is to create a powerful strategic message that you can then integrate into everything you do. To be able to do your job well, you must be able to see through John Smith’s eyes. Have you ever thought what that entails? What exactly would you see if you did that?

This is not just about ‘seeing’ through another set of eyeballs, but we all know that. This is about understanding and feeling as John Smith. Knowing what he knows, taking in what he takes in, and making decisions like he does. This is about hurting, and loving, and wanting, and needing, and all that makes us who we are. You will get a partial sense of this from several sources, here are a few:

• Going back and reviewing all of your past ads and marketing messages.

• Trying to think like your customer thinks.

• Calling up several of your competitors.

• Shopping, calling or surfing around, doing what she/he does.

Here is one that everyone forgets, and to me this is the most important, and at times the most interesting:

• Thinking about it, your own thoughts and feelings.

Imagine that, I am asking you to trust your own thoughts and feelings on this. What you feel, think, sense, and distrust John Smith will probably also feel, think, sense, and distrust. But rather than think yourself jaded, or “not really your own target market”, give yourself some credit. You see I can see and feel like John Smith. It just takes devotion and time.

You too can get into your customers’ minds and see as John Smith. All it requires is a little thought, spend some time thinking. Too many times we take a very general view of the world. We think with tunnel vision. We forget that we need to know and feel for ourselves.

That being said, here is a great place to start. Begin by recording your own personal thoughts. Keep that recorder or a pad of paper in your car and office. When shopping, do your usual thing, but as soon as you can, sit back, reflect and ponder what went on. Ask yourself the following questions:

• What did I like about that experience?

• What did I not like about it?

• What stood out?

• What caught my eye?

And then quantify your answers. Do this for every shopping experience you can, try as Jim Rohn says, “To get the stuff!” I promise you will benefit from this exercise. Plus, it will get you into the habit of reflecting about buying, and that is a GOOD thing.