Targeting your ideal customer is one of the most vital components of establishing a successful business, but it can be one of the most nuanced and difficult things to do well. Plus, your ideal customer and audience could change, depending on your business goals and changes in the market. So, how do you go about finding your market’s audience in the overall marketplace? It starts by creating an understanding of who your ideal customer is and how you can best serve them. You can learn a lot about your audience by diving into a few simple, but key questions.
What Problems Does Your Business Solve?
On the surface, this question is simple. What products and services do you offer your customers, and how are they useful? It seems obvious because you do it every day. But when you’re considering your business from your target market’s perspective, you should delve deeper into all the ways you can help your customers solve problems. Maybe your product has alternative uses or can help people in unusual ways that aren’t traditional, but still useful.
Try to make a comprehensive list of all the ways your business helps people and solves problems. Include things you do in the community, even ways you help your employees or events you support. Just because you include something in the list, doesn’t mean it has to be included in the marketing, but having a long and comprehensive list will give you more options to work with when considering how to best connect with customers.
Who Are Your Competitors?
Knowing what you’re up against in your industry is another critical component of success in business. Understanding what other choices your customers have in the marketplace can help you improve your own product positioning and offerings. Most businesses have both direct competitors (companies that offer the same product or service) and indirect competitors (companies that have different offerings but fulfill the same need), and it’s important to understand both types of competition and how they relate to your market’s audience for your business.
When researching your competitors, it’s not enough to just know who they are. Learn as much about them as you can: their pricing, marketing strategies, locations, customer satisfaction levels, etc. Understanding their strengths and weaknesses can show you where there are untapped opportunities in the market and help you get a leg up when trying to appeal to your audience and attract new customers.
Why Should/Do Customers Choose You?
So, you have a really clear idea about what your business can offer to your market’s audience, as well as what your competitors are doing. Now it’s time to think about why your clients choose you over the competition. What is it that makes you stand out? Conversely, when people don’t choose your company, why do they choose your competitors?
Consider the biggest and most common objections you hear during the sales process. How can you answer those objections before they’re even brought up? If you can eliminate common objections before the customers can even voice them, it will put you that much closer to closing the sale.
Understanding why clients choose you (and sometimes it’s not for the reasons you think) can be a huge boost to appealing to more potential clients within your market.
Who Are Your Current Customers?
Now that you understand why people choose your product, you need to think about who is choosing your product. Having a thorough understanding of your current clients can help you market more effectively to prospects.
For many businesses, it can be helpful to create a model of your ideal customer, including demographics, like age, location, income, education, shopping habits, and more. Many times, businesses give this ideal customer a name and refer to him or her regularly as a buyer persona. Get really specific about who this person is and target your marketing messages as if you’re speaking to that one person.
Some companies want to avoid doing this because they’re afraid that by targeting a specific market’s audience, they’ll be leaving money on the table. That’s not true. Just because your marketing messages are tailored to your target audience, doesn’t mean other people can’t or won’t engage with your message. It just means that you’re much more likely to capture the prospects who are the most ideal customers for your brand.
How Do Your Customers Communicate?
People in different audiences can gravitate toward different types of communication. If you’re selling a product geared for seniors, then social media may not be your best bet for advertising, unless the product is usually purchased for seniors by someone else. That’s why it’s so important to understand who your actual customers are.
Your product may be geared toward a specific group to use, but that isn’t always the person who does the actual purchasing. For example, diapers are for babies, but parents are the ones who do the purchasing, so you have to be communicating in places that parents are going to see the messages. That same principle applies to anything you want to market. You have to understand who is buying your stuff and where they are most likely to engage with your communications and then target your marketing to those people and places.
Finding your target audience and getting your messages into their hands is a complex process that requires a lot of research. However, once you find your business’ marketing sweet spot, and learn to appeal directly to your ideal customer, you’ll be able to improve your marketing messages and maybe even reduce your cost per customer acquisition.
Dmitrii Kustov is an entrepreneur and the founder of Regex SEO, developing marketing campaigns for well-known companies like John Deere and Dignity Memorial. Currently, as Internet Marketing Director for Regex SEO, he is helping businesses and entrepreneurs grow their presence online. Due to his experience and background, he has been able to share hands-on knowledge about the following topics: Internet marketing (SEO, paid advertising, social media, content marketing, etc), statistical , web development, and entrepreneurship.