What Does Your Target Market Want?

gamalhennessy Community • Jun 18, 2020

We’ve been talking about identifying your target market, the obstacles to overcome in growing your fan base, and the tactics you can use to overcome those challenges. At this point, it helps to take a step back and consider what your readers actually want. This will help you understand how to connect with them and satisfy their entertainment needs with your comic.

The most basic thing to understand is that your ideal reader ultimately does not want your comic. They do not want the comics of your competitors or books in your genre. In fact, they don’t want any book at all. This goes for anything they buy or consume from food to clothing to other types of content. This lack of desire is universal.

When you reduce human motivation to its philosophical core, you realize that people want the things that their various purchases and products can do for them. They want the feelings that goods and services generate, not the things themselves. As an independent comic book publisher, you need to understand that your comic is a delivery mechanism for your story whether it is a webcomic, OGN, or motion comic. Your story needs to provide the emotional experience that your ideal reader is looking for. In the end, the style of art and the long hours you spent creating your comic won’t matter if you fail to provide the experience readers want.

This means the first step in building a relationship with the ideal readers in your target market is to define what feeling your story is supposed to induce in them and then continue to communicate that feeling in all your messages and interactions. For example, if you have a horror comic, then your job is to focus on the type of fear your ideal reader wants, whether it’s the campy jump scares of teen slasher movies or the nauseous squirming of splatter films. As a historical model, consider the way Stan Lee related to Marvel readers when he was editor-in-chief. Everything he did, from the friendly style of Stan’s Soapbox to the Bullpen Bulletins, to his rebellious rivalry with the Distinguished Competition connected with readers in ways that went beyond comics that earned him almost universal praise when he died at 95. When you think about building relationships with your target market, Lee is the gold standard.

The second step in building this relationship involves combining your story and what you know about your ideal reader to create a hook that will transform your ideal readers into true fans online and offline. Next week, we’ll take a look at what a hook and a true fan are before we try to apply this idea to concrete marketing actions in our seminar next week. 

If you'd like to learn more about comic book marketing, be sure to sign up for our free webinar on June 25th. We'll show how all this information translates into new readers for your comic

Have fun with your comic.