There are numerous of variables to consider when running a business. Do you have a viable product? Do you have enough capital to succeed in your market? It’s critical to ask these questions when holistically looking at your organization. But none of this matters if you fail to understand your customers.
Great business leaders know they need to consider the customer first when formulating goods and services. Here are a few things to keep in mind when getting to know your ideal customer.
Aren’t All Customers Ideal?
Many business owners assume that all customers are the same. As long as they’re paying, that’s good enough, right? While there’s some common-sense logic to this sentiment, it doesn’t hold up in the real world. An idea customer fits a general formula based on what goods you’re selling. This can be specified through demographic information including income, education level, age, worldviews, location, and the like. This is, of course, if you’re selling a product to a consumer. If you’re working in the B2B space, you’ll have to consider business size, market, financial health, and even their ideal customers.
Create Customer Profiles
Once you have the demographic information for the persons or business you are likely to target, you can create ideal customer profiles to inspire your marketing efforts. For instance, you can imagine Fashionista Fran, a 30-something female with an eye on the latest clothing trends. She is affluent and ready to buy from your ecommerce clothing store. You’ll sell differently to this ideal customer than you would Bargain Billy, a fashion-focused Millennial making $40,000 a year who prefers to buy vintage clothing on the cheap.
While every customer should be treated with dignity and attention, some consumers fit more squarely into your marketing plan than others.
Understand Social Listening
Social listening is one of the most effective ways to get a better grasp on your ideal customer. Not all business owners are totally familiar with this term. So what is social listening? It’s a way for organizations to get a better feel for consumers by seeing what they’re saying on various social channels online. This might be on social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram. But it can also include blogs, forums, or sites such as Reddit or Quora.
Companies derive great value by leveraging social listening. You can discover who are major influencers related to your goods or services. You’ll start to get a better feel for where people interested in your market hang out online, which will allow you to spend your marketing dollars more efficiently. You might even discover some helpful things that people are saying about your goods, or those of your competitors. There are tons of reasons to participate in social listening. And all of them will factor into you getting a better profile of your ideal customer.
Look at Analytics
Analytics are key to your success in the modern business world. The vast majority of companies are collecting data of some kind. Many website themes and website builders, like those offered by Yahoo Small Business, allow users to look at analytics directly from their backend dashboard without having to go through extra software. Yet, over 70 percent of data collected by most organizations never gets put to use. This is unacceptable if you seriously want to get the most out of your analytics.
There’s a ton of demographic information—as well as other patterns—buried in your website analytics. Scouring over these data points can give you a much clearer picture of your ideal customer.
Survey Your Current and Previous Customers
One of the easiest ways to get a better feel for your ideal customer is to simply engage with people. Too many business owners only see surveys as a gauge for measuring the overall health of their company. But these should be used in much more specific ways as well. How are people of different demographics reacting to your product? If you notice a strong correlation along certain lines, those people might just be one of your ideal customer groups.
Knowing your customers is one of the most important parts of running a business. Companies that do the best job of pinpointing their ideal customers are always going to have an easier time selling products. Employ these techniques in order to get a better feel for your ideal customer.