Targeting Your Ideal Customer
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / NorthernLightsStock No matter what your hobby, there are tools of the trade. If you fish, you match the type of bait you use to the kind of fish you want to land. For knitters, there are specific needles to use for different kinds of stitches and patterns. Golfers employ clubs specific to the kind of shot they want to make. The same is true of your business marketing. Strengthening Your Sales through Targeted Marketing The most common marketing mistake a business makes is trying to sell to everyone. It makes the copy difficult to write; the decision of which social media sites to participate on time consuming; and the content just doesn’t resonate. When you try to appeal to everyone, you impress no one. Narrowing down your target audience, allows you to speak only to them. They will respond because you’re talking to their specific challenges, in a language they understand, and a format they appreciate. You cannot create a content strategy without knowing your target market. Trying to do so is like your boss handing you her credit card and telling you to go out and buy a gift without knowing who it’s for or how much she wants you to spend. Vagueness doesn’t sell in today’s business climate. If your customer has to wonder if you are the perfect solution for them, you’ve just missed the sale. They’re over at your competitor’s website because she made it quite clear she was ideal for their needs. Building a Buyer Persona You don’t have to be a CMO to know who buys from you most often. Take a moment to think about her age, family status, income, desires, and challenges. Write it out like a story. Give her a name. When you’re trying to decide how to market a new product or service, ask yourself what would appeal to her. You may have multiple buyer personas but avoid the temptation of saying anyone can use our product. It suits everybody. While it may be true that anyone can wear a man’s white t-shirt, it will look very different on an infant and a high school quarterback. If you’re not feeling imaginative, ask a question on your Facebook page about your new product or service and see who answers. Pay close attention to those people who answer in your target customer range. Social media can be an effective R&D platform for you if you know your ideal customer. Put Your Knowledge to Use If you understand who your ideal customer is, you’ll know where to find him. You’ll know where he gets his info and how to appeal to him. Does he research every purchase extensively? If so, are you providing the tools he needs? Does he buy impulsively? Maybe he likes established buying patterns. Knowing who he is will help you be where he is, when he is ready to buy. This intelligence will bring you more sales. It’s impossible to know how to speak to someone you haven’t defined. If your business sales are not what you hoped, take some time to identify who you are trying to reach. Once you have that figured out, you can speak to them in a way that frames your product or service in a light they will be drawn to. You can also be assured if you’re solving their problems, they’ll keep coming back and they’ll bring their friends. Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and Memberclicks. She’s just a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.