Scuba diving and customer targetingI don’t scuba dive. Never have. Never will. And I don’t say “never” often. The reasons aren’t really important and hey, I’m not looking to start a debate about scuba.

I totally get why people like scuba. The visual beauty under the sea is breathtaking (I’ve seen it from the safety of a mini-submarine). The ability to go to depths that we can’t go alone must be exciting. And I have friends who love it.

Understanding why people love scuba diving is just about understanding people with a different view — pun intended — than mine. As a marketer, understanding people is the root of good messaging and media selection.

Before we go in the water, let’s start on dry land. I’ve worked with many automotive brands and one thing is for sure: a Scion customer is very different than a Mercedes customer. It’s amazing to me to see social media firms post the same content on a Mercedes site that they post on a Scion Dealer’s site. For example, a list of the top 10 hip hop songs of the year.

Scion targets younger audience looking with cool, modern designs at a value price While Scion buyers are likely to respond to messages about a hip hop artist, I doubt that many Mercedes buyers would. Why? Because the Scion buyer is typically a younger buyer and more apt to listen to hip-hop.

The Mercedes customer is more concerned with luxury and prestige. These customers are typically older, higher income, and more concerned with privacy and thus less likely to share content on a Dealer’s Facebook Page vs. their own private page.

Taking a deeper dive, let’s take another category I’m familiar with: wine clubs. What are some other interests of people who join wine clubs with top rated wines? My research shows that they also like golf, gourmet food, and travel. It’s not a stretch to see the similarities between wine club members and the Mercedes customer. So posting something on the Mercedes Dealer’s site about wine is more relevant to their audience.

So I hope you’ll allow me to see through your underwater camera and get to the depths of your customer insights. Where have you seen a company miss the mark with their target audience?

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