The ability to clearly define and target the very best customer for your product or service will ultimately determine your success in business.
One of the most important elements of an effective marketing strategy is the development of a customer profile.
The visualisation of that ‘perfect customer’.
SO… HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS?
They certainly don’t have a clear enough understanding of who their target market is. Who they are, what they do, where they live and what they look like. And all too often they can be heavily reliant on a sense of general perception and guesswork.
TAKING OFF THE BLINKERS
Anyone that claims that their target market is ‘everyone, any age, any gender, anywhere in the world’ is frankly deluded! These people often consider marketing as an unnecessary expense and squander precious time and money attempting to sell their products and services to people who just aren’t that interested.
Why on earth would anyone choose to waste money on a scattergun marketing approach?
Especially when with just a bit of thought and consideration, you can accurately pinpoint those customers that are not only likely to buy from you once, but who have massive potential to buy from you time and time again.
Marketing is an investment. It’s a journey.
And every worthwhile journey begins with a careful analysis of your starting point. Let’s face it; you wouldn’t attempt to scale Mount Snowden without a map, a compass and an indication of your starting point, would you?
MARKETING IS NO EXCEPTION
By planting yourself firmly in the shoes (and head) of the type of person you’re looking to attract – gaining a complete understanding of their wants, needs, desires and pain points – it’s astonishing how much more effective your business can be.
This simple yet detailed intelligence allows you to generate a more narrowly defined customer demographic. A valuable baseline from which to grow and mould your business, products, services, staff and support networks.
And by being completely honest, clear and realistic about your current situation – taking into account your products, markets, opportunities and challenges – you’ll be surprised at how much stronger and informed a position you’ll be in when it comes to devising your marketing strategy.
This is what’s known as a situation analysis. And it’s a great way of getting you to really focus on your business and decide what you ultimately want to achieve from it.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BE THINKING ABOUT?
When devising a killer marketing strategy, here are some of the topics the team at Amberry Marketing take into consideration when carrying out a simple situation analysis:
What exactly are your products/services? Detail them at least by category, if not individually.
What does your product/service actually ‘do’ for your customer?
How do you currently get your product/service in front of your target market?
Do your sales suffer from seasonal peaks and troughs?
Paint a detailed picture of your current customer base and segment them into groups. Make sure to consider details such as where they live, education, age, sex, race, income.
What pain points do you alleviate for your customers? What problems do you solve?
Of the benefits you offer, which are the most important to them (not you)?
Why do they buy from you?
How do they perceive your brand?
Do they trust you?
What’s a realistic market size for your product (in pounds, shillings and pence)?
What is your percentage of that market share?
What growth do you anticipate in your marketplace – both short-term and long-term?
Consider any anticipated changes to your market – such as where people live, the average age of the population, environmental regulations, political climate, or any other factors that may lead to a change in the size of your market?
Where else can your customer buy a product/service the same as or similar to yours?
How do these companies compare to yours; in terms of their size, age, product range, quality of product/service?
Which marketing channel(s) do they use? Are they successful at it? What is their brand perception? What tone of voice do they use in their marketing materials?
Take care not to ‘over-scrutinise’ the competition though.
Focussing too much on the route other people are taking will only detract you from your own path.
Doing this sort of analysis may sound daunting to some (a complete nightmare to others!), but believe it or not it’s professionally therapeutic and can often teach you things about your business you never even knew.
Once you’re able to visualise that perfect customer, it’s so much easier to choose the most effective marketing channels when trying to attract these people.
Imagine a stair-lift retailer splashing the cash on a whole load of social media ads! You get where we’re going with this, right?
At Amberry Marketing, we strongly encourage all of our clients to carry out a situation analysis.
By taking just one tiny step to the side, they have a better chance of looking impartially at their business and can go on to establish a realistic starting point for any marketing strategy.
Author: Anne-Marie Armstrong