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The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveal that the number of Australian stay-at-home Dads almost doubled over the past decade.

While the number remains comparatively low overall, having gone from 57,900 to 106,000 – experts are forecasting these figures will only rise.

Curiously though, in the world of marketing, most people would presume that there aren’t enough of them to bother with targeting their advertising, right?

Wrong, according to author and small business marketing expert, Rhondalynn Korolak.

Korolak said that in a crowded marketplace where advertising and marketing budgets are tight, small businesses need to be constantly asking themselves, ‘Who is my ideal customer?’

“Maybe your customer hasn’t changed – but for example, perhaps stay-at-home Dad’s may now be a component of your market, you need to be more thinking about it,” she told Dynamic Business.

Korolak said time and time again she sees small business owners making the same mistake – getting to caught up in the channel, rather than the fundamental message.

“Everyone wants to focus on ‘should you be on social media or not?’. Should you be advertising on Google adwords or not. The channel is the last thing that the small business owners should focus on. The very first thing is the niche. Who is the customer? What do they look like, and what’s relevant to them?” Korolak said.

“It’s about getting the message right first. If the message isn’t relevant, it’s not going to be memorable, and people aren’t going to take action on it,” she added.

In consulting with small business owners, and taking a look at how many ‘eyeballs’ they’re actually reaching, Korolak believes the majority of small business advertising spend is completely wasted.

The message that’s being put out there is too generic, too broad, and untargeted.

“A small business owner needs to be more vigilant, they need to be more concerned about relevancy and impact, and creating something that’s captivating and compelling in order to grab those eyeballs and get people to remember, understand, and take action,” she said. “And so if your market has changed, then it’s absolutely no good to continue advertising with the same old message you’ve always used.”

Using cleaning products as an example, advertising is highly female oriented.

“Maybe there’s room for somebody to come in and appeal to the male customer. To speak directly to him, and talk to him about why he needs to have those dishes clean – because it’s probably a different reason,” Korolak said. “When Dads clean houses, and Dads take care of kids – the research is showing that they’re very much more focused on getting the kids outdoors and doing outdoor activities than the Mums are. So the ads have to be different. If you want to sell something to a Dad, you probably want to focus on what he wants to do with his free time rather than mopping the floor.”

Key takeaway

“The thing at the moment is the rage is around ‘social media training’ and providing training to staff around this area. But if your underlying, core message is poor, if it’s untargeted, then it doesn’t matter where you put it – what channel you’re using – whether it’s TV ads, radio commercials, social media advertising or whatever – if the message is not relevant, it’s going to flop,” Korolak said.

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Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie is the editor-at-large of Dynamic Business. Stephanie brings with her a passion for journalism, business, and new ideas. On her days off, you might find her reading a book on the beach.

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