You have everything right…or so you thought. You’re offering all the right products and services to your market. You have the perfect pricing model and the perfect pitch. You’re marketing in all the right places and are following a proven sales process. So? – Why don’t you attract more of the right customers? Well, you may have overlooked, overestimated, or misunderstood your target market profile. That’s a really important thing to get right.
This profile, also known as a customer profile or ideal customer persona, has specific information and data gathered about real people who are likely to buy or who are already buying what you’re selling. Knowing how to create the right profile is essential to gaining a healthy share of your target market. It’s the not-so-secret ingredient to attracting more customers; the right customers. It’s especially important if you’re planning to spend money on marketing and advertising. Many business owners waste money advertising to the wrong people. Worse, some people know how to reach their ideal customer but don’t know enough about them to target them with an effective message. If you send the wrong message or if you’re attempting to solve a nonexistent problem with your product, you can count on not having the right customers – if any at all. You also may have burned ideal customers. Creating a target market profile is important to keep these things from happening. This post will walk you through how to create one for your business.
Know Your Target Market’s Pain
Before you start diving into the elements of how to create a customer profile, you need to keep one thing in mind. – Everyone is not your customer and your customer is not “everyone”. Just like you would make sure a product or service meets your needs before you buy, your target customers are doing the same thing. You want to make sure what you’re offering the market solves a problem your customer is aware of. Address their pain.
On top of knowing your customers’ pain points, you also must know how they go about soothing those pains. Consider the following scenario: You own a family friendly restaurant that has operated in the past as a dine-in only establishment. Now, you’ve added a take-out option. Rather than running a promotion based on the assumption that everyone at some point orders take out, consider who your most common customers are along with some other factors, like your restaurant’s location. Maybe a lot of your customers are working parents who stop in with their children after picking them up from a nearby school. Wouldn’t they appreciate a quick dinner option? Offering a take-out discount to parents who come in with their children wearing their school spirit shirt or those who bring in their school report card, could prove to be successful. In this situation the pain point would be needing a quick and convenient dinner option. The target market profile includes parents of children who are within a certain age range and who live in proximity to your restaurant. Identifying your customers’ pain points helps to figure out more characteristics about your ideal customers too.
Determining customer demographics is key to building good customer profiles. Defining these characteristics helps in narrowing down ideal customer profiles. You could even begin to name them. Make sure to include the following:
- Geographical Location
- Level of Education
- Family Structure
Lifestyles and Values
The next type of information you want to include in your target market profile is psychographic information. This information includes, attitudes, beliefs, hobbies, interests, and lifestyles. Some examples to consider are:
- Eating Habits
- Television Show Interests
- Publications they read
- Places they travel
- Political Views
These things further define who your customer really is and what is important to them. Your target customer may include men who are in their fifties, hold C-level positions where they work, read business publications, and go golfing on weekends. If you’re selling golf clubs at a high price, this would be a great profile to target.
Another type of psychographic data point that may seem obvious but is often overlooked, is purchase behavior. It goes without saying that this information is just as important as the rest of it. The types of questions you may want to ask about your ideal customers’ purchase behaviors are:
- Which of your products or services do you sell most often?
- Why are customers purchasing from you over your competitor?
- What other types of products are they buying?
- Where do they go to make their purchases?
- Are they loyal to any brands?
- How often do they buy?
- Do they shop at discount stores or at high-end stores?
What you find out about your ideal customers’ purchasing behavior may reinforce the pricing model you’re using or may prompt you to change it.
It can be a bit intimidating for small business owners to figure out how to go about getting the information needed to create a target market profile. A good place to start is the customer. Create a survey and politely ask and incentivize your customer to complete it. You could also hold a paid focus group. Schmoozy Social Media Management asks a couple of questions that give us relevant information about our ideal customers on our scorecard. We ask potential and current clients to fill it out.
Also remember, you don’t have to figure it all out by yourself. Part of our process when you work with us is helping to define your target market profile. We don’t offer social media management in the form of just coming up with nice messages to post to your Facebook fanpage. Our main mission is to help increase your customer base and sales by employing social media marketing and advertising campaigns with your target customers and sales goals in mind. We know that Facebook ads work for small businesses in a major way, and if you’re considering using them for your business we’re more than happy to help you get started.
So are you ready to nail down your target customer profiles? Was this article helpful? Let us know.