How (and Why) to Identify Your Business’s Ideal Customer

Posted on 02/25/2015.

Identifying your ideal customer can be a daunting task.  It can also be a little scary – after all, if you start targeting one type of customer, won’t you miss out on sales from customers who don’t fit your target?

But the truth is, recognizing the ideal customers for your business and targeting your marketing message to them can give you big benefits over a more general approach. Here’s why you should create a profile of your perfect customer – and how to go about it.

Benefits of Targeting

One of the biggest benefits of this type of market targeting is that you’ll be able to tailor your message to appeal to people who are most likely to be interested in and purchase your products – which means you won’t have to work as hard to make the sale.

Identifying ideal customers can also help you figure out whether there’s actually a market for a new product or service you’re considering – before you invest heavily in producing it. And once you’ve got that new product launched, you’ll be better able to communicate clear benefits for your customers, in terms they’ll understand and respond to.

Another big benefit is that you’ll be able to identify which social networks your customers are likely to frequent, so you can focus your time there instead of spinning your wheels on networks your customers don’t use.

You can also attend events and trade shows that your customers are likely to visit, and save some money by avoiding those where no one is likely to ask for more information or buy from you.

Identifying Your Ideal Customers

There are a few important steps you’ll need to take in order to ensure you’re targeting the right people with your marketing.

  • Clearly define your product. Look at it from your customer’s point of view: What’s it do for the customer? What need or problem does it solve, and how will it improve your customer’s life?
  • Create a comprehensive picture of the ideal customer for your product or service. How old is he or she? Education? Occupations she’s likely to work in? Income level? Homeowner or renter? What problems keep him up at night? (We’ll explain more in-depth how to create these profiles in our next post).
  • Identify where your customer is. Where does he live? Where does he work? Where does he do most of his shopping – locally or online?
  • Note how your customer makes buying decisions. Does she research online first? Visit your website? Visit review sites or social media? Understanding the purchasing process from your customer’s point of view helps you narrow down where to place your marketing messages for best effect.

Customer profiles and targeting your marketing efforts don’t have to limit your campaign. In fact, proper targeting can improve the effectiveness of your message, winning you more sales – and more loyal customers.