The first steps in any marketing strategy is finding the perfect customer. It’s important that you get a sense of basic information like gender, age, status, income, interests, etc. Unless you clearly define these basics, then you will literally be talking to strangers. Time and resources are obviously more effective if you can talk to people you know, like your customers!
You probably have some basic thoughts around who your product might appeal to but let’s explore several areas to build a basic profile of your perfect customer by looking at demographics, psychographics, behaviour and desires. Examine these key insights before spending a penny on marketing to identify effective ways to reach the right people and most importantly grow your business effectively!
Establish your industry. Are you selling to other businesses (B2B) or consumers (B2C)? Sounds like a simple question, but you’d be surprised at how many companies start out trying to sell to everyone.
For example; if you are selling to another business then demographic information you need to know might be the job title/role of the person you need to reach, perhaps their age, gender, or maybe even where they are based out of (like in the case of a head office).
Once we generally have an idea who the perfect customer is then we can go a bit deeper and look into what education they might need to perform that role. What their interests may be or what they might be searching online for. What do you think makes them tick?
Simply put, marketing is about reaching the right people to solve their problem with a product. So put yourself in their shoes and think about how they might go about finding the solution to their problem. Think about the path they might take to find your product. Is it a Google Search? Perhaps it’s an industry expert? Is it an inquiry to a wholesaler? If you can map out the journey the customer will take to get to you, then you know how to meet them at every step. Many times there are multiple steps which means a multi-faceted marketing campaign.
- A recent survey found that 75% of buyers don’t believe that the salespeople they deal with understand their business.
- 62% of B2B buyers choose the salesperson who was first to add value and insight into their buying process. Forrester
Finding the perfect customer for your business means gaining insight into their problems to know how to be their solution. Many times we hear people say generalities like. I need more customers, my website doesn’t generate leads, I just need my phone to ring or more people in my store. Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic bullet that will do any of those things but there are ways to achieve all of those things but it requires different tools and experience.
As an example; A massage therapist buys the best tables, oils, and is highly skilled but all the customer cares about is relief from pain and discomfort. The product isn’t the actual massage, but the pain relief. Massage is one tool that solves the problem. Other factors that help that customer choose one therapist over another might be an advertisement, a discount offered, word-of-mouth or even appointment availability. Those decision points are addressed by a well-thought-out marketing strategy with multiple tools to engage the customer.
Think about what your potential perfect customer’s expectations may be and then discover ways to address those through the interactions they have with your business. Does your perfect customer need to see an advertisement 10 times before they even notice it? Selling a very high priced item might warrant a trial offer. Would they need more understanding/education before they buy? Are they only ever open to new things at industry conferences? What are the best ways to engage your perfect customers along their discover journey?
Mapping the Journey
Understanding the discovery process will lead the perfect customer from awareness to purchasing. Steps along the way might include education about the product, understanding the benefits or even needing a trial/sampling. Once they are happy with their purchase (and we know you make a great product… so they’ll be overjoyed) ultimately we want a referral to other perfect customers to start the whole process over again.
A key component of mapping the journey is being very aware of how your perfect customer “feels” along the way. Many times this is called customer experience but let’s put it into feelings along each step of the journey. Defining what emotions they are going through will help you make them feel at ease through the process.
“Value is in eyes of the beholder,” so to speak. The difficult part of this statement is remembering the beholder is not you. It’s your perfect customer.. You must come to understand how ideal customers think and determine what value your product is for them.
If you want to succeed in business, you must find a way to showcase a differentiation in a way that ideal customers want and value. Quite often your clients value the little things you do that are special. Testimonials or post-sale interviews are a great way to gain these insights. If you could ask your perfect customer any question (that could greatly impact your business) what would it be? How about: What’s the one thing we should never stop doing? or What did you appreciate most about buying our product. The answers will show you what makes you different from your competition. When they gush about the world-class service your staff offer or financing terms that were given to facilitate the sale, you know you are on to something.
No company can be all things to all customers. That is a recipe for failure. Small business owners who succeed are those that decide which customers really matter and spend resources finding the perfect customer for your business.
Want some help finding your perfect customer? Contact us for a free consultation. Not only can we help you discover your perfect customer but we’ll also give you the support to go after them and grow sales!