Identifying Your Ideal Customer

October 18, 2012 | Roger and Susie Engelau

This month I’m guaranteeing a strong return on your marketing investment. With my last 2 blogs, you nailed down your USP. Next you need a specific description of your Ideal Customer. This goes deeper than you might think. If you say your ideal customer is “anyone who’ll buy my product,” “any household in central Indiana,” or “everyone,” then you’ll struggle to get any customers at all because you don’t know who you’re targeting or how to connect with them.

Knowing your ideal customer insures that all your marketing, copy, and messaging targets the most profitable customer. It also helps you get rid of the types you don’t want—the ones who take up a lot of your time and who try to nickel and dime you. Unless you have an unlimited marketing budget, you can’t afford to waste one more dollar on anyone who isn’t ideal. So why not target customers you can help the most!

If you’ve never completed an exercise to define your ideal customer, do it now. It doesn’t take long. Start with your bad customers—it’s helpful to know what you don’t want. They’re the ones who are difficult, take up a lot of your time, pay late or complain, haggle over prices, wait until the last minute to complete paperwork, or who make unreasonable demands.

Next, even though you may have customers who aren’t ideal, think of the ones who are. Who are the customers you really enjoy serving? With them in mind, answer these questions:

  • What are his/er demographics: age, gender, education, income?
    • What is his/er personality type? Preferences?
    • What are his/er likes, dislikes, hobbies, activities?
    • Where do they live? Where do they hang out?
    • What do they read? Where do they get their information?
    • What is their problem or need?
    • When they begin their purchase process, where do they research? What would they search for online?
    • Where do they get their information about brands? Online? Print? Television? Friends?
    • If you’re B2B, what role does your customer have in his/er company?
    • How did they find your company?
    • What are the benefits to finding a solution?
    • What other sorts of products do they buy that relate to yours?
    • What do they think of the value of your product?

    Reach out to your current ideal customers to learn what made them select your business over others. Conduct interviews, formally or informally, and ask them:

    • Why did you originally buy from our company?
    • Why do you continue to buy from our company?
    • What do we do that others don’t?

    Using the answers to these questions, create a summary paragraph of your ideal customer. It might sound like:

    “My ideal client is a small business owner in Indiana with sales between $500K and $50M. S/he is humble enough to ask for help and is, generally, a member of an industry association or group of CEOs. S/he also invests in an accountant. S/he is serious about growing the business the “right” way with strong systems and a strong team. S/he reads small business blogs and understands that my fees are not cheap but values the return on investment personally, professionally and from a profitability perspective.”

    Once you’ve answered these questions you’ll have a clear picture of the type of customers your business should be targeting. Creating a marketing strategy with these ideal customers in mind will help you avoid wasting time and money on unsuccessful marketing and better reach the new customers you need to take your business to the next level.

    If you’d like to get more of my marketing strategies, you’re invited to my FREE webinar, coming up on Nov. 7 at 12:30 pm EST.

    In just 60 minutes you’ll…

    • Find that “sweet spot” that your competition knows nothing about
    • Use that “sweet spot” to instantly attract new clients whenever you want.
    • Separate your business from all of your competition.
    • Learn how to get your customers to LOVE you and keep coming back OVER and OVER
    • Discover how to find your niche market and watch your profits and revenue skyrocket while you work fewer and fewer hours

    You can also book a free 30-minute consultation with me. You’ll come with questions and leave with great ideas that’ll propel your company to new profit levels.