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Defining your target customer

Written by Nigel Browne on .

cartoon of a confused business owner

In this blog, I’d like to share a struggle I’ve seen as a Business Mentor whilst mentoring several businesses recently…

Turning leads into paying customers.

Does this sound familiar to you and your business too? In each case, we traced the problem back to a common root cause – an undefined target customer!

Let’s delve into this subject further and look at how I mentored my clients to overcome it.

With some of the businesses, their target customer definition was vague at best, and in most cases, it had never really been considered at all.

Let’s think about this for a moment. How do you know HOW and WHERE to market your business if you don’t have absolute clarity on WHO you’re marketing to?

And of course, the world has been flipped on its head during the last 18 months, and with other huge events such as Brexit, it’s entirely possible that your target customers may have changed. So now is an ideal opportunity to sit down and go through this exercise. As with most business processes, this should be reviewed and updated regularly to get the greatest return on your marketing budget investment.

How to define your target customer

Customers who make up your target market will share similar characteristics. So, as I do with all my clients, I encouraged these businesses to ‘draw’ their target customers, considering these key attributes. If it makes it easier, why not give them a name too. I have many real-life examples, including ‘Manic Mary’ and ‘Mr Too Busy To Do That’!

Whichever way you decide to approach this, what is important is to get that customer out of your head and clearly defined on paper. You must really visualise them!

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Who are they? Consider gender, age, marital status, education, job/career, income and interests.
  • Geography Where do they live?
  • Why do they want your product? How would they benefit from your product?
  • How do they purchase? Do they prefer to buy when your product is on sale? Do they want to see customer reviews first?
  • Buying behaviours What triggers them to buy?

You may find that you have more than one target customer but try to have no more than three or four different target definitions.

Shaping your marketing strategy

Once you gain clarity on what your target customer looks like, then you can more precisely find the places and times they ‘hang out’. It also provides more focus and makes it a lot easier to shape your key marketing messages. You should therefore notice greater connection and increased engagement with your audience, as the content you create should speak to and resonate with them on a more personal level.

And be sure your communications are what your CUSTOMER wants to hear, not what YOU want to say! Demonstrate how your product or service solves a problem in their lives if you want to see sales, enquiries or repeat business increase. Use testimonials or case studies from similar target customers wherever you can to illustrate how you can add real value to their business.

Book your complimentary mentoring session!

As a business mentor and coach based in Somerset, I support small businesses throughout the South West of England, including those situated in Bristol and Bath.

I would love to have an initial chat, learn more about you and your business vision, and see how we could work together. So, give me a call and let’s get started!

Nigel Browne
Director & Business Mentor
Bristol & South West

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