Marketing Focus – Defining Your Ideal Customer
To successfully market our products and services, we need to have a very clear picture of our target market. We need to understand as much as we can about that target market so we know them inside and out. If we know their likes and dislikes, pain points and needs, then we can best address our communication to them and design our products and services to be a perfect fit.
Create the ideal customer profile
A good way to do this, is to create a profile of your ideal customer. Look at your customer base and your most loyal and high spending customers for example and see what they have in common. Imagine the absolutely perfect fit for your company, what would that person be like? When you’ve thought about that ideal client, start to write about them and make it as niche as possible.
The profile should include their:
- Age (a small age range is OK, but don’t go too broad)
- Location (or locations if they are residential tourists to Spain)
- Family dynamic (do they have kids, are they married, are they caring for elderly relatives etc)
- Likes and dislikes
- Preferred social media channels
- Preferred media to consume
It’s also useful to note down how they like to be spoken to and what other brands they like, so you can make sure your tone of voice will appeal to them.
Some people will give their ideal customer a name and even draw them, or cut out a picture of someone who looks like their ideal customer from a magazine. This may seem strange, but it helps them to really drill down and feel like they are getting to know that person. It also helps them to check their product range and marketing messaging against that ideal customer and make sure it is resonating.
Why it’s easier to market to your ideal customer
Many people will worry about this approach, as they feel like it alienates other customers. But remember, you are not making your ideal customer public, or refusing to sell to other people. Instead, you are making sure that your ideal customer will really love what you’re doing and improving your chances of reaching those people with your messaging. It is so much easier to know what to sell and how to sell it if you can picture exactly how your ideal customer will respond. It helps us to tailor and personalise the message and anticipate their needs from a marketing and customer service point of view. But you are not excluding others, simply ensuring that your positioning in the market is right, and will still to continue to attract a range of people if your products or services are mass market.
If you want to go niche
Having your ideal customer clearly in mind when you are designing your products or service, can also allow you to find and dominate a niche. Although this will exclude some customers, you will have more freedom to really nail your products and your marketing to that niche. It’s almost impossible to appeal to everyone, so if you can identify a strong need in a particular group of people and create a brand and product that those people really need, you can be very successful. However, you need to make sure that your niche is big enough to make the money you need, otherwise you will limit yourself over the long term.
An example of a massively successful company who has gone down that route is Mumsnet, the website by parents, for parents, which was set up by a Mum in order to make parents’ lives easier. 20 years down the road, they have 7 million unique visitors per month and are the UKs largest network for parents. They are very popular with advertisers trying to reach this niche and target the very loyal following that Mumsnet has developed over the years enabling them to charge top dollar for their advertising products.
Integrating your ideal customer profile into your marketing
Once you have your ideal customer profile, use it wisely in your marketing. Start by reviewing your product offering against the profile and make sure your target consumer would like what you offer. Then look at your brand, advertising, website, leaflets, online marketing, social media channels etc and review it from the perspective of that ideal customer. Ask yourself if you are talking to them in the right way, anticipating their needs and solving their problems through the way you’re marketing your products. Lastly check that your customer service process is working for that ideal customer. Are they getting the support they need through their buying journey and beyond? Is your team communicating with them in the right way when they are dealing with problems? Is that customer type finding any difficulties with the product or service that you could remove through product modifications, or improved communication?
However, don’t just guess – make sure you really know! Look through interactions on social media, email conversations with your customers and talk to your customer service team to see how people are responding – check if there are any blocks that your ideal customer might be having.
Consider undertaking some market research, through a market research company, surveys, or questions on social media to get a definitive answer. Alternatively, why not contact one of your loyal customers or friends, family or business contacts who are in your ideal demographic and ask them their opinions to see what people really think.
Marketing agencies can also really help to offer an outside perspective of your company. We can work with you to profile your ideal customer, review your existing marketing and create a plan of action as part of a marketing plan. Through effective marketing planning, you will achieve clarity and a strategic outlook on how to reach the customers who will be the most receptive, most loyal and best customers for you over the long term. Please contact us to find out how we can help.