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David Bater

Are You Thinking Correctly About Defining Your Ideal Customer?

As a small business owner, could your thinking possibly be wrong about your customers? Are you explicitly thinking about how to define your ideal customer? What you think you know about your ideal client may be inaccurate. Meaning, your clients

  • don’t share your mindset. And,
  • they don’t have the same values or beliefs that you do. Also,
  • they don’t all make purchases for the same reasons.

You may have the same type of dog. Or share an affinity for sustainability. But, you can’t let your similarities fool you into thinking that they’re just like you. Therefore, if you want your small business to succeed, you need to know whom to market. And how, i.e. able to define your ideal prospect.

How to define your ideal customer:

Having an intimate knowledge of who you’re trying to attract is vital. Also, without that valuable knowledge, you’ll spend thousands of pounds on your marketing efforts. That yield little to no return on your investment. Because trying to reach everyone with your product or service is not only inefficient and expensive. But, it also drains your resources. And energy. Therefore, ultimately leaving you frustrated and disappointed.

Here are three keys principles to follow when defining your target audience.

  1. Find your ideal client by narrowing down your focus.
  2. Create a Positioning Statement.
  3. Learn to Say No.

The easiest and most cost-effective way to improve your marketing efforts is, narrow down your target audience and identify your ideal customer.

As it turns out, the largest, most successful companies all started with a small list of tightly defined ideal targets in mind. Then, expanding into new markets once established.

  • Amazon began targeting book buyers who were comfortable shopping online. Before expanding to almost everything.
  • Facebook focused on Harvard students. Before expanding to other universities and audiences.
  • LEGO targeted children ages 3-12 back in the 1950s. Before extending their product lines to toddlers and teens.

Think Strategically

Therefore, thinking strategically about your ideal clients is an iterative process. In that, you adjust and refine over the life of your business.

The ideal audience that you’ve focused so heavily on for the first few years of business. May be entirely different than the target that you focus on now.

The danger of not knowing how to describe your ideal customer, therefore, not knowing who they are means you’re not marketing to them in a way that makes you their first choice. So, to define your ideal customer, you’ll first need to narrow down your focus. Then, craft a positioning statement. Also, learn how to say no to the wrong customers.

1 – Find your ideal prospect by narrowing down your focus.

The easiest way to narrow down your focus is to identify your ideal prospects with research. By researching their

  • demographics and
  • psychographic traits.

Demographics explain who your buyer is. While psychographics explains why they buy.

Demographics

Demographic data often includes age, gender, ethnicity, income, geographic location. As well as other types of information about who they are. Where they live and what they do. When researching this kind of data, use a variety of sources. Particularly existing customers and Facebook. You can also find this demographic data through your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Additionally, other social media platforms, such as Linkedin. Or Twitter. And by benchmarking your competitors.

So, as you define your types of customer, remember to be intentional about saying yes to individual attributes. And be clear about characteristics when you’re saying no. Consider the list below and write down the trait of your perfect customer types:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Geography
  • Occupation
  • Income
  • Education
  • Family/marital status
  • Ethnic background
  • Psychographics
Psychographics

Customer psychographic data provides more in-depth profiling. About how your client’s attitudes and behaviours translate into purchase decisions. Psychographic information will include things like:

  • What type of music they like.
  • Which brands they buy.
  • How often they go shopping.
  • How much money they spend on individual purchases.
  • What are their pain points, what solutions are they looking into?

Also, it may also include psychological and cultural reasons why people make certain purchasing decisions.

The fastest way to find psycho-graphic data is to ask your best existing long-term customers.

Surveys are great. But nothing is better than stealing a moment or two with a few of your loyal customers. To talk about why they do business with you.

Other sources of psycho-graphic information include focus groups, social media and data mining, your CRM and marketing automation software.

Once you’ve gathered your data sources, use the list below to define their psychographic characteristics.

  • Personality
  • Attitudes
  • Beliefs
  • Values
  • Interests
  • Hobbies
  • Lifestyles
  • Behaviours

B2B

If you sell business to business (B2B), you’ll need to determine the type of business that you’re targeting. B2B factors include:

  • Industry size.
  • The number of employees.
  • Revenues.
  • Geography.
  • Buyer types (economic buyer, technical buyer or end-user)

Once you understand who you are targeting by defining your ideal prospect, it’s time to think strategically. And decide how you would like these perfect prospects to perceive your brand. This decision involves crafting a positioning statement. To help you gain clarity, focus and direction. See this post on creating buyer personas.

2- Create a Positioning Statement.

A positioning statement concisely defines your ideal customer. And how you want your brand perceived by them. So that employees who are responsible for marketing and communications can build messaging around it.

Every product and marketing decision you make regarding your brand must align with and support your positioning statement.

A positioning statement includes information about target ideal customers, product or service benefits. And key differentiators. To get started with creating your positioning statement, survey and interview your best customers. Then, develop an apparent problem and benefit statements. Finally, draft and test your positioning statement. And refine it as you go.

Use the following template to begin to craft your positioning statement:

For [target customers], [company] is the leading [category] that provides [unique benefit].

Unlike competitors, [company] does [unique differentiator].

Here’s an example positioning statement:

Infusionsoft is the leading sales and marketing software for actual, small businesses. Designed to help them get organised, grow sales and save time. Unlike other small business software providers, Infusionsoft is solely focused on small business success. And provides one easy-to-use system for sales and marketing.

Once you’ve developed your positioning statement, and have a clear sense of who your target customer is. You can begin to craft your messaging and speak directly to prospects who are more likely to buy. You can stop focusing on everyone else by learning how to say no.

3- Learning to Say No.

Saying no to new opportunities is hard, especially when every penny counts. However, saying yes to the wrong person causes confusion, customer dissatisfaction and misalignment. It can also take your business to places you don’t want it to go.

Saying no to customers based on race, colour, religion, or natural origin is a violation of civil rights. And you don’t want to turn away a client who intends to buy a product or service unless you have a legitimate business reason to do so.

Businesses almost always suffer when they try to be everything to everyone. So, learn to say no to opportunities that don’t align with your positioning statement. When you say no to misaligned opportunities, your marketing message gets crisper, which makes it easier to find its way to your ideal audience. You’ll also conclude that it’s simpler to acquire new customers. Wow them and gain referrals and repeat purchases, as referred to in this post on taking a strategic approach to your marketing.

Customer Lifecycle Marketing.

At its core, business success is about finding a market opportunity by understanding the needs of that market. Then, matching your products and service offering to meet those needs and then convincing those people to use your goods or services. Time and time again by building long-term relationships.

Incidentally, by, implementing a complete Customer Lifecycle Marketing strategy, your dream of achieving profitability and robust economic growth can be accomplished. And, help you thoroughly understand your customer profile.

You May Also Like:

Mistakes Small Businesses Make with Lead Generation

3 Strategies To Grow Your Small Business

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