It was time for another online marketing strategy consult session with a potential client as we chatted over a coffee about their current lead generation methods and customer demographics.
“So who is your ideal customer” I asked.
The business owner that I was having a strategy session with was a bit startled by my question. He paused for a brief moment and as he regained his composure to answer my question, he started telling me about the different ways that his business generates leads, covering both offline and online lead generation methods.
For some of the methods that the business had implemented to generate leads, he seemed a bit hazy as to whether or not that particular method was working for his business, or whether it was in fact one of the ways that they used to generate leads.
He commented that they had tried quite a few different approaches to generating leads – the usual offline advertising and marketing approaches were mentioned – advertising in the local newspaper, networking with business groups, referrals from existing customers, direct mail campaigns, advertising in the Yellow Pages etc. Some had worked well, whilst the success of other methods had been a bit of a blur.
When planning a marketing strategy for a business, whether it be offline or online, it is important firstly as a business owner to understand the mindset of your ideal target market of customers or clients, as much as possible before rolling out the marketing campaign, to maximise the chances of its effectiveness when you hit the ground running.
Gather Data about your Ideal Customer Profile and Demographics
Some questions to think about when gathering data about your ideal customer profile and their customer demographics include the following:
Why does the customer choose to buy from your business?
What is the unique service proposition (USP) that your business offers to differentiate you from other competitors and other similar businesses out in the market?
What is the trigger that sets off a customers’ decision to buy a product or service from you? Was it word of mouth? Was it a unique offering that your business offers that your competitors don’t?
ie. a competitive advantage that you have over other similar companies in your industry
What are the typical demographics of your average customer?
Where do they live?
What is their average age?
Do their have a spouse and kids?
What is their average income?
Do they run a business or have a job?
What is their family background?
What are their hobbies?
How do they like to consume information? Print media? or online?
What is their propensity towards risk?
How do they like to research and shop for a product or service?
If you are a business that sees their customers on a regular basis – what are the problems that they like to share with you about their business and their personal life?
What do they like to talk about when they interact with you in person or on the phone when you have a conversation with them?
Are they forward thinking? Or do they have a tendency to be reactive – only looking for a solution to their problem once it arises? How long have they had their problem for? Is it still unresolved 3 months down the track, 6 months down the track?
Are they more interested in talking about solutions to solve their problems or the problem itself?
Attract the Right Types of Customers to Work With
Having a good understanding of your ideal customer is an important aspect to running a successful business. It acts as a filter so that you can attract the right types of customers to work with, and provide a good fit to work together. So you don’t find yourself marketing your business to anyone and everyone in an untargeted fashion.