Identifying Your Ideal Customer Profile to Boost Sales
You may have heard the phrase "Everyone should not be a target customer”. With the advance of digital technologies and data no business should be thinking I can sell to anyone and everyone.
Even big businesses with lots of services and products would not identify their target market as everyone. Each service and product they provide would cater for a specific demographic or segment of the market that they would home their strategic marketing efforts towards.
By understanding who your target market is you can then home in on the ideal type of customer within that target market that is most likely to buy your products or services.
So how do you develop your ideal customer profile?
Begin with data
The first place to start if you are an established business is with data that you have within your customer records e.g. CRM. Analyse your customer insights through purchase history, subscribers, marketing funnel and look for trends in such demographics as:
Products / services acquired
If you have other data available such as:
Interests / hobbies
Marital or family status
Or if you are specifically b2b:
Who they currently buy from or work with
Then compliment this information by analysing your data from external sources such as Google Analytics, Social Media and other marketing analytic tools at your disposal.
By analysing your data you can begin to build the foundations of your ideal customer profile.
It is important to note here that developing your ideal customer profile is not a one time activity. It is an evolutionary process, as over time you will better understand your customers behaviour, buyer traits, market trends that will influence where you should prioritise your marketing and brand.
Also, customer buying behaviours and demographics change and it's important that through the use of marketing analytics that you are able to identify subtle changes in buying patterns and adapt appropriately to stay relevant to your customer and ahead of your competition.
It is important to note here that developing your ideal customer profile is not a one time activity. It is an evolutionary process
Put yourself in the shoes of your customer
Try and see how you would behave to your type of product, service or business through the eyes of your ideal customer. Ask questions such as:
What issues will these product or services overcome?
How will it add value to my life or work?
How will it make my life easier, more cost effective?
How do I perceive these products, services in the market place?
How much am I willing to spend on such products and services?
What don’t I care about?
The output you are trying to achieve through this process is to analyse where there is a good fit between the products and services you offer and their wants and needs.
Map Out The Customer Journey
Marketing analytics can help you to understand how your ideal customer behaves throughout the marketing and buying process. For example, understanding how and when your customer realises they have a need or pain point that initiates the buying process to how they engage with your brand and touchpoints through to making a purchase and then becoming repeat a customer.
Google Analytics can help you to understand how your customers interact with your website and content throughout the marketing funnel and can provide key insights to help map out the customer journey.
The better you understand your ideal customer profile buying journey the more effective you can be at delivering the right type of marketing and content at the right time in the buying process.
Marketing analytics can help you to understand how your ideal customer behaves throughout the marketing and buying process
What to do next
Bring all of these three elements together to build a picture of the characteristics and demographics of your ideal customer profile, why they need your product or service and how they would begin to go about buying your product or service.
Once you know your ideal customer profile you can begin to build your communication strategy to cater for the needs of that audience.
The two must work hand in hand. It’s no good having homed in on your exact audience but your communications or brand does not resonate with their needs and pain points.
In most service and product categories consumers and buyers are presented with lots of choice and options before making their final decision.
Consumers and buyers will buy from the company or brand that is most relevant to them. You can plan your marketing and content to engage with your ideal customers with the appropriate key messages at the right time in the buying process creating greater relevancy to the customer.
Consumers and buyers will buy from the company or brand that is most relevant to them.