Update for 2016: This is our most popular blog post to date! Because of this, we've made some updates to our original post to highlight additions we have implemented over the past few years. Enjoy!
Everyone knows you need a to create a successful marketing strategy in order to have a successful business. Before you decide how to market to potential customers, make sure you first take the time to figure out who you're marketing to. Don’t neglect one of the most important aspects of marketing: defining your ideal customer.
Follow these 5 simple steps to learn more about your existing customers, in order to find more customers like them.
- Demographics – their age, gender, income, etc.
- Psychographics – their personality type, preferences, etc.
- Behavior – their similar likes and dislikes, sports, hobbies, etc.
B2B companies should also note characteristics of your ideal businesses to work with, including:
- # of employees
- Geographic scope
- Type of business
Locate Your Customers
Find the places your customers are attracted to, whether a physical location or a cyber space where they gather.
- Where do they hang out?
- What do they read? Both online and offline?
- What do they search for online?
Review the needs and benefits that make your customers purchase your product or service.
- Where do they begin their research?
- What is their problem or need?
- What are the benefits to finding a solution?
B2B companies should also think about:
- Do they make purchases by impulse?
- Do they seek out referrals?
- Will they need approval by a committee before making a purchase?
Connect with Current Customers
Reach out to your current ideal customers to gain additional insight into what made them select your business over others. Conduct interviews, formally or informally, and ask them:
- How did you originally find our company before contacting us?
- Why did you originally buy from our company?
- Why do you continue to buy from our company?
- What do we do that others don’t?
Create profiles that describe specific segments of your current clients. Ensure that the profiles are tangible, so that you can envision this person and what would motivate them to find your business.
- Describe your clients in written profiles, called personas
- Create a specific persona for each identifiable client group and name them
- Include images of ideal clients, either real or a hypothetical individual
Once you have completed these five simple steps you will have a clear picture of the type of customers your business should be targeting. Creating a strategy with these ideal customers in mind will help you avoid wasting time and resources on unsuccessful marketing efforts. Through focused and more consistent marketing communications, you’ll be able to better reach the new customers you need to take your business to the next level.