Why Defining Your Ideal Customer Is Imperative
Avoid a Million Dollar Mistake
I have a friend whose company hired a new COO recently. The incoming COO produced a million dollar ad campaign using past connections to draw in customers along with the same approaches to targeting them he had in his previous role. The marketing firm working with the company failed to do its homework in identifying the ideal customer situation for the organization. The results were not pretty.
My friend’s company, and the new COO, ended up in a lot of hot water because the million dollar ad spend was wasted. In fact, it created a whole cascade of other problems because it attracted the wrong customer situation. This was a recipe for disaster that could have been avoided.
Know Your Customers
Every business leader understands the importance of knowing their business, product, and services, but many overlook how crucial it is to recognize their ideal customers and what they expect as consumers. Knowing your ideal customer and how to reach them is key to a profitable marketing strategy. Whether the COO of a Fortune 500 company or a small business owner, knowing how to sort your ideal customer from the not so ideal is critical to achieving a successful business acumen, a profitable organization, and an impeccable reputation.
The Cost of Errors
The mistakes even large companies make when spending marketing dollars in the wrong place can cost them substantially in more ways than one. Not only can it take a financial toll, but marketing to the wrong audience can draw in the wrong customers who will be dissatisfied with your product or services. This often leads to low customer satisfaction and, ultimately, a poor business image, which means fewer customers in the future. For a small business to make these errors, it can be catastrophic.
Identifying Your Ideal Customer
When you are trying to drive traffic to your door, ask yourself who is it that you are really wanting to drive to the door. Can you make the customers you are bringing in happy with the end result come fulfillment time? You can when you create the ideal customer situation.
To understand who your ideal customer is, you must determine what your best clients have in common. Look at their demographics such as age, gender, and income. This will help you determine the most effective methods to get them to your door.
Next, consider psychographics such as personality types and preferences. For example, are your best customers Type A perfectionists, are they extroverts, or both? You’ll also want to think about the common behaviors of your customers. What commonalities do they have in their likes and dislikes, the hobbies they have, the sports they play or follow?
If your company is focused on business to business products and/or services, consider the characteristics of your ideal business customer. How many employees do they have? What is their annual revenue and what is the geographic scope of the businesses you serve? Do you service a particular industry or type of service? If so, what are the unique characteristics they possess? Finally, you’ll need to consider who the key decision makers are and what type of budget they are working with.
A Marketing Strategy That Works
Once you have identified your ideal customer, you can create an effective marketing plan. If you determine your ideal customer is a professional aged 30-50, that will help determine where you will look for and market to them. You’ll also have a good idea of their needs and the benefits customers reap by working with your business as well as where they spend their money so you can adjust accordingly.
This is just as true for businesses that work with other businesses. You’ll be able to determine more about how to market to your ideal business customers if you know what they buy, how often, and who makes purchasing decisions. If you know that a business customer you are targeting seeks out referrals, then you know getting other business referrals is a great place to start.
Be sure to connect with your current customers, especially those pleased with your products and services. You can ask questions and create customer profiles. Such profiles can help you produce an image of your ideal clients for the future.
Build Your Best Clientele
Every business leader has the opportunity to build a better clientele. By identifying the commonalities among your best customers, you can produce a marketing plan to bring new ones to your door to boost your business. Perhaps even more importantly, you can avoid the costly mistake of bringing in the wrong customers that will weigh down your organization rather than lifting it up.
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