As business owners we like to think that our services and products are for everyone. While it may be true that your offerings can help a broad range of people, the fact of the matter is that only a segment of the population is actually ready to make a purchase.
While you most likely have a very good idea of who your target audience is, you need to drill a little deeper by defining who is your ideal customer. Your ideal customer is the person who is in need of your products and services and is ready to act on that need.
By defining who your ideal customers are you will give increased clarity and purpose to your marketing efforts which will result in a higher ROI.
Let’s take a look at the seven questions you need to ask yourself so to define your ideal customer.
What Problem Am I Solving?
We like to start defining our target audience by looking at the pain point(s) we are trying to solve for our customers. This is the intersection of your business and the lives of your target audience.
Understanding the pain point(s) of your ideal customer will allow you to create content which will stand out to your audience because you are speaking to their needs. This will also help differentiate your business from your competitors.
The better you are able to define the problem(s) you are addressing for your target audience, the more refined your ideal customer will be.
What Is My Best Product or Service?
Once you have defined the pain point(s) your business addresses, the next step is to define how the pain point(s) are addressed. These are your products and services.
Your audience will be intrigued by the fact that you understand their pain point(s) so well. However if you do not sufficiently describe how your products and services address their needs, then they will move on to the next business.
Being able to illustrate that you understand your audience’s needs is a great first step, but being able to properly articulate how your products/services address those needs is key to getting your ideal customer to make a purchase or to contact you.
What Are My Goals?
At this point of developing your marketing strategy, you should have already established your marketing goals. If you have not, then this is a good time to pause and detail exactly what you are trying to accomplish with your marketing efforts.
If you have detailed your marketing goals, then you should take time to review them. Your marketing goals have a large impact on who your ideal customers are. Your goals may include moving into a new marketing, or pushing a new product/service, or just increasing quarterly and annual revenue.
Whatever the case might be your marketing goals should be in mind as you define your ideal customer. You want to make sure that you are targeting the right audience to reach your goals.
What Do The Numbers Tell Me?
If you are an established business, look at past and present sales so you understand who your best customers are currently and who they have been in the past. Has changes in the industry changed who they are? Do you have repeat customers that keep coming back month after month or year after year? Or do you serve a specific age range so current customers will eventually age out. These are all important factors that will impact how you define your audience, their pain point(s), and ultimately your marketing message.
If you are a new business, look at industry trends and potential competitors. You may not get exact numbers, but your goal should be to get enough information where you can make educated decisions on who your ideal customers are.
What Does My Best Customer Look Like?
This question refers to the demographics of your audience. You want to know their age range, gender, if they are married, and if they have kids. Depending on your business, you may dig deeper into religion, race, and ethnicity.
These are important because you want to make sure you understand who you are speaking to. There may be cultural norms and traditions that will factor into your messaging. You do not want to offend anyone or have them think you do not understand who they are and what they need.
How Do They Think and Feel?
So often making a purchase is an emotional decision. That is why you want to understand the psychographics of your ideal customers. This is how they think and feel.
The better you understand how someone thinks and feels, the better you are able to understand how they make decisions. When you understand this, you can craft messaging that has a much greater chance at getting your audience to act.
Where Do They Get Their Information?
This last question is really about moving on to the next step in strategy development. For you to have a chance to attract your audience, you need to first get your information in front of them. This means understanding where they get their information. Is it from email, social media, TV, websites, print material, or a combination of two or more sources?
Knowing where your ideal customer gets his/her information will allow you to place your marketing content in the marketing channels where they are most likely to see it and then act upon it.
A goal every marketer should have is to promote their business in the most efficient and effective way possible. Defining who your ideal customer is will help you make the best use of the time, money, and effort you invest in marketing your business. Answering the above questions will help you visualize who your best customers are so you can create content that will get their attention and get them to take action.