Imagine that you’re placing a help wanted ad for your small business’ ideal customer. What does it say?
If your only qualifications are “breathing” and “has valid credit card,” you’re missing the mark entirely.
Identifying your small business’ ideal customer (your “target audience” for all who speak fluent marketing-ese) isn’t something you can do on your lunch hour. But it is a necessary task if you’re looking to create a marketing strategy that gets results.
But how do you determine who deserves your attention?
Figure Out Who Needs Your Product
A product or service is only viable if people need and/or want it – and people’s wants and needs vary widely. A pony rental business for children’s birthday parties may turn a pretty profit in suburbia where there’s lot of kids and yard space. But take that same business to a big city filled with apartments and a lot of 20-somethings, and you’re going to have a hard time closing the deal.
Paint a picture of the person most likely to make a purchase. Are they single or married? What’s their annual income? How do they spend their leisure time? What problems can you solve for them with your small business’ products or services?
Determine How Much They’re Willing to Pay
As a small business, you probably don’t have a ton of wiggle room in your pricing – but you do have control over who you market to. Spending your marketing efforts and dollars trying to convince people to buy a product they simply can’t afford is a waste of time.
Take a hard look at what your competitors are charging for similar offerings, then spend some time researching their demographic. Are they marketing to millionaires, or middle class families? The going rate for your competitors’ services or products can help you determine what the market will support, and who your market should be.
Find a Way to Help
Unless your serve an incredibly niche market, chances are good that you’re not the only provider in town selling your products or services. What can your small business do that the others can’t?
Do you provide delivery or carryout services? Targeting mothers with small children in tow might up your ante. Do you offer a 20-minutes or less guarantee? Targeting workers on their lunch break could be your hook. Focus on what’s unique about your small business, and then market to the people who will benefit most from it.
You can’t please everyone, and you definitely shouldn’t attempt to market to everyone, either. Defining your small business’ ideal customer – who they are, what they can afford and how you can best meet their needs – can help you get the best return on your marketing investment.
Need some help with your “customers wanted” strategy? Drop Mischa Communications a line. We have the tools you need to find and market to your small business’ most valuable customers.