Marketing insights question: Who is your ideal customer?

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Do you really know your ideal customer?

Over the next few weeks, as we head towards 2012, I want to get you thinking about your business in a new/fresh way.  I’m going to ask a single question in each post — but I’m warning you, these aren’t slam dunk questions.

I’m hopeful that as you ponder my question — it will give you some ideas for making 2012 a break out year for your organization.  If nothing else — this exercise should fine tune some of your marketing efforts.

Who is your ideal customer? One of the biggest mistakes most businesses make is that they cast too wide a net, when it comes to prospecting.  Not all money on the table is good money.   We’ve all had a bad customer.  But if we’re really honest, we’ll admit that they weren’t a bad customer.  They were just bad for us.

Assuming you have a finite marketing budget or that you still haven’t figured out how to extend the day past 24 hours — you have to make some choices.  So why not target the very best possible customers?

Your intentional marketing efforts should be laser focused on those people/companies who are ideally suited to benefit the most from your offerings AND bring you the best benefit (profits, repeat business, referrals, longevity etc.) back to your organization.

Are you running around like Chicken Little, trying to make sure that everyone and anyone knows about your business?  Do you spend marketing dollars on long shots and Hail Mary passes?  If you are — stop it.  Now.

Instead, invest that energy into discovering who your best customer is.  Describe them.  Be able to tell me what matters to them and how they get their kicks.  Know what they drive and why they chose it.  When they go to a restaurant, do they pay attention to the fat content of the offerings, the prices or if there’s a 16 z steak on the menu?

Once you really know who they are — you’ll know how you can help them.  Talk to them about it.  Help them a little so they get to know you before you ask them to buy.  Tell them stories of how you’ve helped other people.  In other words — market to your best customers in a way that creates trust and familiarity.  have you noticed how your best customers end up being your friends?

That should tell you something, shouldn’t it?

Unless you have an unlimited marketing budget and time on your hands – you can’t afford to waste one minute or one dollar on anyone who isn’t ideal.  So figure out who that is…. and stay focused on the people/companies you can help the most.


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