Monday, 31 August 2015

Focus on your ideal customer and resist trying to market to everyone

You may argue that your product and service can be purchased by anyone, but if you want to make the most of your marketing resources in terms of money and time, then can I suggest that you look to focus your activities on attracting your ideal customer. So why?
  • Your ideal customers usually make up most of your profits
  • Working with ideal customers is much more rewarding and enjoyable
  • You can concentrate your marketing efforts more efficiently
  • You can better understand the need and how you match your benefits
  • You will be able to better identify any expectation gap
  • You can easily adapt as you know your environment
So the best ways to identify your 'ideal customer' is:
  1. Customer profiling - review the trends of your top 20% of customers or the think about the customer you want to attract. Age, location, sex, role, attitude, turnover, employee size, aligned with your interest or values, etc
  2. Segmentation - use demographics, classifications, life cycles, psychographics and contextual marketing to focus on your ideal prospect. Personally I like life cycles. What support does someone need when a child, in education, getting married, buying a house, starting a job, running a business, retiring etc
  3. Market research - ask your ideal prospects, not your friends, some key questions such as what they expect, where they are buying now, why, and how often they buy.
In preparation of your approach, look to put yourself in your customers shoes and answer:
  • What is their real pain and problem?
  • What is their motivation to buy from you?
  • How do the benefits of your product or service solve this pain or problem?
  • How will you present these benefits in a sales meeting or an elevator pitch?
  • What are the likely objections you will receive? (so you can prepare for them)
Then the challenge is how do you find them and how do you make contact? Here are a few thoughts:
  • Buy a trusted mailing list and write to them or call them (or pay someone to do it for you)
  • Use LinkedIn to identify and attempt to connect or engage, either directly or via groups
  • Networking events - but research where do they really go and network themselves 
  • Advertise - if you know what they read and why
  • Exhibitions - do they attend trade shows, seminars, events that you can sponsor or have a stand?
  • Referrals - who do you know who touches your ideal client? Can they refer you to them?

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