The concept of an ideal customer has been talked about a great deal in terms of sales and marketing in recent years and is potentially one you have heard bandied about before. However many people are confused by the term.
Your ideal customer is a concept or standard that you can use to help you identify the people you want to attract to your business through your marketing materials, such as your website, brochures, advertising efforts and any editorial placements you attempt to gain.
Knowing who your ideal customer is ensures that you know specifically what they’re looking for and can therefore create messages that talk directly to them and their needs.
It is an activity that can take just thirty minutes of your time, but could assist greatly in making sure the right kinds of prospects are visiting your website and engaging with it, liking you on Facebook, following you on Twitter and ultimately looking to do business with you.
So how do you figure out who your ideal customer is?
In order to develop your ideal customer profile, you need to examine your existing customer base.
Look at the values and attributes of a sample of your best and worst customers and using these characteristics you will be able to develop an ideal customer profile:
STEP 1: Generate a list of common characteristics for your top 10 best customers.
Can you describe what they look like? Female or male? Age? Marital status? Nationality or culture? Income? Type of employment?
Where did you find them? Local or regional?
What products & services do they buy? How much do they spend with you per visit? Monthly? Annually?
Why did they choose to do business with you? Why do they continue to do business with you? What do they like most about doing business with you? What do you like most about them?
How did you get their business? When do they shop – day or night? Can you list the benefits they need from your business? Are there different needs in your customer group? Based on differing needs most businesses we work with can divide their best customers into 1-3 groups.
STEP 2: Repeat the same exercise for your top 10 worst customers. Focus answering the questions and listing the things that really annoy you! (We call these the negative characteristics).
STEP 3: Then turn the worst customer’s negative characteristics into positive characteristics that you can cultivate in your future customers. For example, if one of your negative characteristics is someone who cannot afford to pay you, then the positive characteristic, or turn around, is someone who can pay and does so on time.
STEP 4: Add these customer characteristic ‘turn-arounds’ to your 1-3 best customer descriptions.
These enhanced descriptions are your initial 1-3 Ideal Customer profiles. Once you have completed this exercise you will be able to use these profiles to communicate effectively through your website, brochures, flyers and other marketing materials.
Utilise this knowledge to write your content, develop your design and target your online advertising campaigns and instead of having a website that is trying to speak to the world, you will start attracting the right kinds of prospects to your site.
Hola PR is part of a group of online marketing specialists called Achieve More Online. Our entire approach to being successful online hinges around the development of an Ideal Customer profile. If you would like to learn more you can visit www.achievemoreonline.com.au and listen to Ideal Customer guru, Lisa Reed from A Little Ray of Sunshine.