Marketing Corner: Who is your target audience?

I’m surrounded by kids.  My kids, neighbor’s kids, friend’s kids.  They’re little.  Think everyone under ten.

Understandably I’m obsessed with entertaining kids and kid-centric menus for kids. 

I texted my husband the other day.  “I want to go out tonite.  I’d like to have a drink.”  Now, for the record I’m not a drinker.  If I have one drink a month we’re on a roll.  But for some reason I felt the light air and yearned for those younger days when having a drink was an option. 

So with three kids at home ranging from 2 to 10 where do you go?  (Sort of said in the Ghostbuster’s “Who you gonna call?” voice)

Of course the Joe’s Crab Shack or as I personally have dubbed it “the bar with the playground.” 

It’s one of the few places in town the kids can run wild, I can have a drink and my husband can smoke.  So pretty much it’s the trifecta of entertainment for our crowd.  It doesn’t get much better than that. 

I’ll share the food is hit or miss, but we don’t go there for the food.  We go there for the $20k worth of playground equipment front and center surrounded by a gravel pit.  We go there because we can watch the kids and have a drink and simultaneously convince ourselves we have gone out. 

From a restaurant standpoint it’s pure genius.  Pure and simple genius.  We can’t get out of there for under $100.  And I know there are many families that go there for the playground equipment too. 

Often when opening a restaurant and planning strategies on who the target audience is and how to market to them people overlook children.  We would do anything… and I mean anything… for our kids.  We spend our last dimes on them and certainly they make far more decisions in this life then we do as parents.  In fact in our family it’s easy to be outnumbered by kids.  And I’ll let you in on a little secret, the youngest often gets their way.  TG there’s not a Frozen restaurant or Gangam Style Restaurant because… well we went through those phases. 

So as you’re thinking about marketing.  Don’t overlooked the most influential group out there… the under 10 crowd.  They have a lot of buying power.  They’re often under utilized decision makers. 

So if you’re marketing to a target audience of families, shouldn’t you be marketing to the children?