Who is your perfect customer?
Do you know them when you see them?
Developing customer personas is an important part of your marketing strategy.
Sometimes we ask businesses who they are targeting with their products. Occasionally, the answer sounds something like this: “men and women, 18 to 100 years old, all demographics — basically everyone”.
Now while this sounds really good in concept, in reality, it makes it impossible to target anyone.
The most effective marketing is that which focuses in on an ideal customer profile. If you know who your customers are already, you can go to where they are, both online and offline. Then, you can get your product in front of the right people.
We try to make these personas — these profiles — based on people who fit the mold of our perfect customers.
It’s important to get all the information like demographics, income, hobbies. But we also want to get inside their heads and find their motivation — the reasons why they need your product in the first place.
By niching down and focusing on the people who are most likely to need your products, we can market more effectively to them. When we spread ourselves too thin, or when we market too broadly, we’re not appealing to anyone.
You have to stand for something. You can’t be bland or wishy-washy, trying to land everyone. This makes you belnd into the scenery. You have to figure out who your people are.
Figuring Out Who Your Ideal Customers Are
One thing you can do is look at who is already buying your products.
Are there commonalities between them?
Look for any underlying themes such as demographics, interests, income brackets, or common problems. Maybe they all have a specific need. Try to find the common threads.
Find Out More By Asking
Another way to find out more about your customers is to send them a follow up email or survey. Not everyone will reply, but you can glean information from those who do.
Find out why they bought your product, what they like about it, and what they dislike. Ask them if they would recommend it to a friend, and if so, why?
Reaching out to people can reveal many things that just guessing won’t show you. Ultimately, we’re looking for the need that your product fills. (We sometimes call this a pain point).
You can also use social media to gather feedback about your products and why customers purchase them. By following up with Facebook or Twitter mentions, you can find out more about your best customers.
What’s great about email and social outreach is the next time you put together marketing materials, you can use the real verbiage to describe what need your product fills. Real dialog speaks to future customers in a way that is authentic, because it comes from real people, not marketers.
Nothing connects better than authentic dialog.
Every Product Fills A Need
Ideally, your current perfect customers are already telling you what need your product fills in their daily routine.
If you can figure out the pain point your product fixes, you can speak directly to this need.
Every product has a “job to do”. Consider this video from Justin Jackson, where he describes what “job” you might “hire” a cup of coffee to do.
Figuring out what job to be done your product solves for your customers is a good way to figure out how to sell your product to future customers.
If you can pinpoint the pain that your current customers are feeling, you can use those same statements to create personas for the next round of your marketing.
Now, Go To Where Your Model Customers Are
Now that you’ve more precisely defined who your ideal customers are, you’ll want to go to the places where they congregate. This is so you can market to them with greater proficiency than you did in the past.
In the physical (offline) world, this means going to places like trade shows, festivals, conferences, local events, fundraisers, community gatherings, or clubs where these people are likely to be.
Online, you can use guerrilla marketing tactics. This means hanging out in topical online forums, Facebook groups, Twitter hashtag topics, comments sections, answering Quora questions, or LinkedIn groups.
Once you identify your perfect customers, you can more easily predict where they will be likely to see your company representatives — dropping knowledge when the time is right, and eventually bringing people back to your product website.
One thing to remember: once you’re there inside an online community, people don’t want to be spammed.
You actually have to be part of the community before you should start dropping references to your company website. People have to genuinely see you as helpful before they trust you.
People can smell spam a mile away. This is why it’s important to put in the time to help people long before you ever start trying to sell them on your pitch. You can’t fake it.
Guerrilla marketing tactics like this are effective, but they take a lot of time and commitment. However, if you have the patience, this authentic behavior will help establish you as the authority in your industry.
Marketing, and building your company reputation is a marathon, not a sprint.
Defining your target audience is critical to any marketing effort. Don’t try to appeal to everyone, or you’ll end up pleasing no one.
Once you tightly define your perfect customers, go to the places where they are, and be genuinely helpful to them. This type of marketing is the most effective way to build a customer base over the long-term.