Who is the perfect customer?
While we all start out wanting to market to everyone, we can’t due to limited homepage space, time, money, staff, and overall resources. So it’s important to save ourselves as small business owners a step by getting right to either dreaming up the perfect customer and testing our thoughts (assumptions) if we haven’t started the business or finding the type of customer we want more of and learning how they tick.
In this article we are going to discuss target markets, customer personas, and resources on how to get the information you need to make smart decisions moving forward to get more customers in your store in person or online and get more money in your pocket with increased purchases.
I won’t lie the information you gather may be surprising and lead you to rethink your entire business (mismatched product-market fit) or will confirm that you are going in the right direction. So if you want to increase your success rate, increase your profits and get more paying customers to continue reading.
The first topic we are going to cover is the target market these are your people, the people who will buy your product, love your product, rave about your product and come back for more.
What is the target market?
A specific group of consumers at which a company aims its products and services. Your target customers are those who are most likely to buy from you. Who are you selling to? Why should they buy your product? What do they stand to gain? You want to start by identifying one specific target market. Who do you think will consistently buy from you, become your brand advocates and bring you the most profit?
Having worked with lots of small businesses, I’ve realized that defining your target audience is probably the hardest and most overlooked aspect of marketing both online and in-person locations.
It really doesn’t matter WHAT you sell. What matters most is the “WHO”.
Here’s a question to ask yourself that may help:
a. came up with your idea
b. decided to sell this product
c. wrote your book, etc.],
a. did you think it would help?
b. did you plan to sell it to?
c. were you writing to?
a. do you want to create this product or service?
b. are you interested in selling this product or service?
c. are you writing this book?
How does your
b. product or service
help your targeted audience or what problem does it solve for your audience?
How do you determine your target market?
Look at your current customer base.
Who are your current customers, and why do they buy from you? Look for common characteristics and interests. Which ones bring in the most business? It is very likely that other people like them could also benefit from your product/service.
Check out your competition.
Who are your competitors targeting? Who are their current customers? Don’t go after the same market. You may find a niche market that they are overlooking.
Does this audience currently buy
- something similar to what you’re creating
- this product or service elsewhere?
- your book or books similar to yours?
Choose specific demographics to target.
Figure out not only who has a need for your product or service, but also who is most likely to buy it. Think about the following factors:
- Income level
- Education level
- Marital or family status
- Ethnic background
Consider the psychographics of your target.
Psychographics are the more personal characteristics of a person, including:
Determine how your product or service will fit into your target’s lifestyle. How and when will your target use the product? What features are most appealing to your target? What media does your target turn to for information? Does your target read the newspaper, search online, or attend particular events? Where do they currently hang out?
Evaluate your decision.
Once you’ve decided on a target market, be sure to consider these questions:
- Are there enough people who fit my criteria?
- Will my target really benefit from my product/service? Will they see a need for it?
- Do I understand what drives my target to make decisions?
- Can they afford my product/service?
- Can I reach them with my message? Are they easily accessible?
- How do you currently determine who buys
- an idea like yours?
- a product or service like yours?
- your book?
- What specific things do your buyers have in common?
- What are your marketing psychographics?
- How do you determine if there are enough people that fit your targeted criteria?
- What drives your target audience to make buying decisions?
- How can you best reach your target audience?
- Where is your target audience “hanging out” online?
This leads us to our Second topic is customer personas.
Ten things you need to know about your customers
Who they are
If you sell directly to individuals, find out your customers’ gender, age, marital status and occupation. If you sell to other businesses, find out what size and kind of business they are. For example, are they a small private company or a big multinational?
What they do
If you sell directly to individuals, it’s worth knowing their occupations and interests. If you sell to other businesses, it helps to have an understanding of what their business is trying to achieve.
Why they buy
If you know why customers buy a product or service, it’s easier to match their needs to the benefits your business can offer.
When they buy
If you approach a customer just at the time they want to buy, you will massively increase your chances of success.
How they buy
For example, some people prefer to buy from a website, while others prefer a face-to-face meeting.
How much money they have
You’ll be more successful if you can match what you’re offering to what you know your customer can afford.
What makes them feel good about buying
If you know what makes them tick, you can serve them in the way they prefer.
What they expect of you
For example, if your customers expect reliable delivery and you don’t disappoint them, you stand to gain repeat business.
What they think about you
If your customers enjoy dealing with you, they’re likely to buy more. And you can only tackle problems that customers have if you know what they are.
What they think about your competitors
If you know how your customers view your competition, you stand a much better chance of staying ahead of your rivals.
- Get feedback from your sales and customer success teams on the kind of buyer they have had the most success with.
- Add forms to your website that include fields for important buyer persona information to gather more information about visitors and leads.
- Look at contact database and nurture stream to identify content consumption decisions and behaviors and which types of content create leads.
- Create surveys for current and prospective customers.
- Conduct interviews with customer/prospect/potential target audience about their view of your product, and discover the interests and needs that your product meets.
- Pull data about your customers from social media.