How to craft effective marketing strategies that attract your ideal customers and encourage them to do business with you
“Our ideal customer is anybody who’s breathing,” was the response to my question of who this businessman’s ideal customer was.
“Really?” I said. “Are you serious?”
Unfortunately, his reply was “Yes.”
That affirmative answer was probably why this business owner turned to me for help with his company.
Many businesses are only marginally profitable because they fail to get clarity on who their ideal customers are.
We launch new products, enter new markets, and open new divisions using the shotgun approach. We’re going to fire a bunch of ideas into the marketplace and hope we hit a bullseye. We hope we’ll get some great customers knocking our door down to pay us good money for what we’re offering.
The reality is that while we think we’re hunting moose, we end up chasing rabbits. We get customers who want modifications. We get requests for information that don’t end up in sales. We spend time explaining what we have to offer because our ‘ideal customers’ don’t understand our value proposition.
Everyone in the business becomes frustrated. This leads to low morale, high turnover and a pressure cooker situation.
How do we come up with a plan that’s really effective? How do we develop strategies that will entice our perfect customer to reach out to us?
The first step is to identify who’s using our products or services and come up with a profile for our ideal customers. Who exactly are they? What are their ages, interests, commonalities? Why did they reach out to us? Specifically, what problem are we solving for them and what’s it costing them in real dollars by not having the issue fixed?
Once we get real clarity on who these customers are and what their true needs are, it becomes much easier to target them with our marketing.
Once we understand what our customers value, we can clearly define whether pursuing this market is a viable option for our business. Without in-depth consideration of this value and how it differentiates from our competition, we often make costly mistakes that can take years to overcome.
If we’ve decided that moving forward is the best option and we’re clear about where we’re going as a company, we need to develop a marketing strategy that will achieve the goals. In the case of market expansion, this usually involves more customers and higher sales.
Marketing strategy can be complex, but often tried-and-true strategies will get a company the best results. Differentiating products and services from competitors and capturing the attention of our ideal clients is the best method. Many companies don’t drive sales to great products because they fail to understand what will capture the client’s attention. Having done this research previously will enable you to be clear about your strategy.
Capturing customers’ attention is only the beginning of our marketing. We need to give them a reason to believe in us. This might be research, studies, testimonials or something else that positions us as trustworthy. Without trust, few of our ideal clients will buy our products or services. Trust is the basis of all long-lasting relationships, and it’s no different in business.
Finally, one of the mistakes business owners make is failing to have a call to action. If we’ve captured our ideal client’s attention and enabled them to trust us, we must ask them to follow through on that trust and solve their issue. That means inviting them to come and take the next step. It might be visiting us, emailing us or simply buying the product.
Your ideal customer isn’t just anyone who’s breathing. If it were, business would be simple.
Dave Fuller is a Commercial and Business Realtor, an award-winning business coach, and business author.
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