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Who is your ideal customer?

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to try and be 'all things to all men'.

You may find some success using this approach, but there will be a high cost to reach your potential buyers. The response to your marketing and the conversion rate from prospect to customer will be low because you are targeting everyone. You will also end up with a large number of poor quality prospects that will use up resources to weed out.

Thousands of books have been written on marketing and this blog only looks at a very small part of the marketing theory.

Before starting any marketing campaign, you need to identify the type of customers you are looking for. The characteristics of your target market will depend upon whether you are selling to other businesses or selling to consumers.

The key characteristics for business will be:

  • Industry: Is your product or service aimed at certain industries?
  • Decision Makers: Are they approachable? Is there more than one decision maker, which will make the sale more difficult?
  • Age of Business: Are you targeting startups or more established businesses?
  • Turnover/Number of Employees: Both these are indicators of size.
  • Location: Does it matter where your customers come from?
  • Profitability: Do you only want to work with profitable businesses?

The key characteristics for consumers will be:

  • Accommodation: Type and size of property.
  • Decision Makers: Is the male or female of the family the main decision-maker or is it a joint decision?
  • Age: Do you need to target a particular age group for your product or service?
  • Income: High end products may need a higher combined household income.
  • Location: Does it matter where your customers come from?
  • Other Key Demographics: Depending on the type of product or service you sell, you may need to consider other factors such as number and ages of children.

Having identified your ideal customer, the most important thing to do is identify your target market. This will be the groups of people or organisations that:

  • Need or want (created by emotional needs rather than physical needs) your products or services.
  • Have the income or budget to pay.
  • Are easily reached by your marketing campaign
  • Have demographic or psychographic similarities

You may be frightened of limiting the number of potential customers by reducing your market to a specific target. But by putting your resources into a chosen target or a small number of chosen targets you will increase the amount of business from those groups. The return on your investment (ROI) in marketing will be far greater.

The reason for this is simple. By accurately targeting their needs and requirements, you will be perceived to be THE business that knows about their situation. You know what they want and desire. You know their problems and their concerns. No other business can do this and so you will be the “go to” people for that target group.

You don't have to restrict yourself to just one target market. Depending on the products or services you provide, you may be able to target more than one group. For example, you may have a business solution for start-ups and a business solution for owners looking to retire. Or there may be different products for different size businesses. E.g. a photocopier for home use and one for a large office.

Just remember, if you do have two or more target markets, they are different so your marketing material will need to have different messages.



 

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