09.20.20175 min read

You’re Wrong About Your Target Customer

You may have tailored your product to a particular customer type, like high-end buyers or tech-savvy college graduates. You can know that much, but unless you spend the time and energy to research your target customer, there’s a very good chance you’re making assumptions when you should be running a fact-based marketing strategy. The difference adds up to real dollars.

As it turns out, the largest, most successful companies all started with a small list of defined target customers before expanding into new markets. Amazon started out targeting book buyers who were comfortable shopping online. Facebook targeted Harvard students before expanding to other universities and audiences. As their businesses grew, the profile of their target customer changed. If they had remained focused on exactly the same target customer, their growth would have been significantly impeded.

The strategy around your target customers is an iterative process of adjustment and refinement over the life of your business. In fact, the target customer that you’ve focused so heavily on for the first few years of business may be entirely different than the target that you focus on now.

1. Define your ideal customer

The easiest way to narrow down your focus is to define your target customers by researching their demographic and psychographic traits.

Demographics explain who your buyer is. More subtly, psychographics explain why they buy.

Demographic information includes age, gender, ethnicity, income, geographic location, etc. This type of information can be found through a variety of sources like the American Fact Finder that is offered through the Census Bureau. Once you know exactly what your target audience looks like, you can track every single interaction with a Customer Relationship Management software platform, like Infusionsoft, to be sure that your sales and marketing efforts line up with your target customer.

A powerful complement to demographics is psychographic information. It provides more in-depth profiling about how your customer’s attitudes and behaviors translate into purchase decisions. Psychographic information will include things such as the type of music they like, which brands they buy, attitudes, beliefs, lifestyle choices, etc.

RELATED ARTICLE:

Why Psychographic Segmentation is More Important than Knowing Customer Demographics

Knowing your demographics is great, but you can do better. Learn what psychographic...

The fastest way to understand psychographic data is to ask your existing customers and prospects. In-depth surveys work well. Also, focus groups, social media, and sources like Nielsen's My Best Segments can complement your efforts. You can also determine your CRM and marketing automation software to see how certain demographics behave in relation to how they consume your content and buy from you.

In addition, if you sell business-to-business (B2B), you’ll need to define the type of business that you’re targeting; things like, industry size, number of employees, revenues, buyer type, and more. B2B is less likely to surprise you as you refine your target market, but even industry customers evolve as they take on new technology, adapt to market conditions, and meet the needs of their own evolving customer base.

2. Create a positioning statement

A positioning statement concisely describes your target customer and how you want your brand to be perceived in the market. A positioning statement includes information about target customers, product or service benefits, and key differentiators. It’s generally shared internally so that employees who are responsible for marketing and communications can build messaging around it. Every product and marketing decision you make regarding your brand must align with and support your positioning statement.

To create your positioning statement, analyze your research and begin by developing a clear problem and benefit statements. Then, identify one to three customer personas that will help you personify your ideal customer. Each persona should capture the demographic and psychographic data you’ve collected around your customer base.

Once you’ve developed your positioning statement and have a clear sense of who your target customer is, you can craft your messaging and speak directly to customers who are more likely to buy.

3. Learn to say no

Marketing to the right people means not marketing to others. Of course, you don’t want to turn away a customer who wants to buy from you unless you have a legitimate business reason to do so. But there’s a benefit to marketing to the right people in deference to all others.

When you say no to misaligned opportunities, your marketing message will get crisper as you hone in on your ideal customer. At its core, business is about finding a market opportunity, understanding the needs of that market, building products and services to meet those needs and convincing people in that market segment that you are the right solution.

Identify your Target Market: Learn how now

Was this post helpful?
Created with Sketch.
Infusionsoft cornerstone spinner
close button
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter!

5 Reasons to Subscribe:

1. Weekly tips to dominate sales and marketing

At our core, we're focused on helping you become a sales and marketing machine. We tap into the genius of the best salesfolks and marketers out there to give you daily tips to grow your leads, make more sales, and keep more customers.

2. Expert small business resources that cost you zero dollars

Want to go deep? We have you covered with free guides, webinars, and tools on a range of topics from marketing automation, CRM, and digital marketing to building sales and marketing strategies from the ground up. All for free. All for you.

3. We're focused 100 percent on small business success

We exist for one reason: helping small businesses succeed. We give you the ideas and insights you need to blow the competition out of the water. We serve business owners who are hungry to put in the hard work to grow their business and own the market.

4. We do the work for you

Running a small business is a 110 percent endeavor. You don't have time to surf Internet for the best small business insights and ideas out there. We'll do that for you with the best original content from our team and from industry experts and small business owners.

5. But wait, there's more!

Small business success means more than just sales and marketing, so we also hit on a range of topics to help your small business thrive, including personal and business growth, customer service, and business management.

6. Righteous GIFs

OK, we said five reasons, but we like to overdeliver...and GIFs. We really like GIFs. You're bound to see some righteous ones.

GIF of Ferris Bueler principal's assistant

P.S. We'll never give out your information. We'll only use it to send you awesome content and resources, if you're cool with that.