One of the challenges many small business owners face is creating fresh, effective advertising that is relevant to their company. One solution that can help navigate this difficulty is figuring out who your target market, or ideal customer is.
You may think, “I want to get my product or service to as many people as possible – my ideal customer is everyone.” However, chances are there is a certain segment or type of person that your product appeals to and is more likely to purchase. These are the individuals you want to focus more of your marketing efforts on.
Defining an ideal customer can be difficult, but once you get a feel for who they are, you can target your marketing and advertising efforts more effectively. Below, we’ll list a few ways you can start finding and catering to your ideal customer:
Think about your current customers.
Who are your long-standing customers who you have a great relationship with? Who are the types of people that seem to fit best with your company?Anything in common amongst the people you have coming in the door? Peruse your current customer list and think about characteristics they have in common.
Write down a list of common or desired traits as it pertains to your business.
What is the age range? Income level? Gender? What are their challenges and frustrations (this can be just as important as their likes)? Are they employed? Are they a business owner? What are specific personality traits they might have? What does their personal life look like? Depending on your business, ask the right questions you need to know and compile a list of what the answers would be for your ideal customer. If you have different types of customers that use your product, create this list for all of the different customer segments you would serve.
Understand how and where they spend time and make purchasing decisions.
Once you have a better understanding of who your ideal customer is, think about where they spend time and how they consume information and make purchasing decisions – both online and offline.
Collect data and gather information.
Writing down thoughts and observations can be useful, but nothing beats collecting data and gathering information from the source. Run reports on your current customer data to extract similarities and trends. Send out a survey or hold a focus group and analyze the results; provide an incentive for people to participate.
Create an ideal customer profile for your business. For instance, ours might look something like this:
Pete Pringle is 45. He is a successful small business owner who is still very involved in the daily operation of his business. He has had a digital billboard for the last three years and enjoys the comments he receives about it from his customers. However, between managing the different aspects of his business, being active at his church, and juggling a family with three children, he is not interested in coming up with creative new content for his billboards and often feels they are stale. He’s an active part of the community, participates in networking groups, and also spends time checking Facebook, opening emails that catch his eye, and perusing the local newspaper online.
As the business, we would likely reach this person by making in-person contact at a community or network event and also make good, informational online content available to him that catches his eye. It would be worth our time to advise on advertising campaigns and work with Pete and his staff regularly yet efficiently to keep content fresh and interesting for both him and his customers.
The challenge of developing your advertising campaign is very real. However, once you can get a handle on who it is you are or should be advertising to, it can steer your content and methods in a positive direction.
We’re available for questions anytime, just get in touch.