Who is your ideal customer?

31 May

Yes, I am asking you to identify your ideal customer. As soon as you do, you will know how to tailor your marketing messages and placement. Your marketing messages will have higher impact because they have higher appeal to your ideal customers.

Let’s start with age and move forward from there.

Age. Is your ideal customer an 18-24 year old student, a 30-something housewife or a 70-year-old retiree. They have different interests, spending habits and needs.

Education. Is your ideal customer a student, high school grad, college grad or MBA? The education level will tell you what they want out of life and what they will probably seek when they go shopping.

Income Level. What is the income level? Are they making $10/hour cash, $110/hour as a consultant or $1,000,000-plus a year as a C-level decision maker at a multinational corporation? You need to know what they can afford.

Family. What is your ideal customer’s family status? Is single head of household, parent or caregiver to his/her parents? Someone who has to support parents will spend his money on some things while someone raising a family will spend his money on other things. Someone who lives with his parents is more likely to spend money on concert tickets than someone supporting his parents. Someone supporting his parents is more likely to spend money on good long-term care insurance than he is to spend it on a 3-day weekend in Las Vegas.

Marital Status. Is he married, single or divorced? Married people, especially recently-married people, are more likely to spend money on furniture, appliances and other durable items for their home. The wife may decide that all his furniture, towels and decorations must go, regardless of what he thinks. A single guy will have more disposable cash for concert tickets, sporting events and trips to Las Vegas.

Hobbies. What does your ideal customer do in his free time? This is especially attractive, since hobbies are usually personal and you can get someone to make a purchasing decision without having to convince a committee, spouse or family member. If he is a triathlete, promote athletic gear. If he is a golfer, promote golf accessories. You have to know his hobbies. Your marketing message will be dead-on and very effective, or it will fall flat. I am a cyclist. Marketing messages for cycling and other athletic events are appealing. Marketing materials for golf, a sport I find boring, have no effect. Asking me to buy golf accessories…simply will be a waste of your time. I am not your ideal customer.

Activities. What does your ideal customer do in his free time? Does he watch TV, listen to political talk radio or read? This will tell you which vehicles to use when targeting him. I watch TV and I have a DVR. My wife and I double fast-forward through commercials. I have XM Radio in the car and all my presents are for commercial free stations. Trying to reach me via TV or radio advertising…simply will not work. However, I do read Triathlete magazine thoroughly. Placing an ad in Triathlete has a better chance reaching me than any TV or radio ad.

Locality. You have to know where your ideal customer resides. This may be the easiest trait to identify. If you’re buying a list, you can choose your zip codes and then start your campaign. If you’re buying pay-per-click ads on Google, you can target a geographic area. I’m in the Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto area. Ads you place in this area have a better chance reaching me than ads you promote in Seattle.

Political Views. Before I go further on this one, let me say you can send that hate mail to mark if I say something you don’t like. If you successfully target your market’s political views, you can be very effective. The opposite is true. I am writing this post three weeks before an election. Every day, I receive postcards for various candidates. I’m afraid to say the marketing folks have not done enough research on my political views. I receive postcards for candidates promoting the “traditional” definition of marriage and candidates promoting a new definition of “two adults in love.” I cannot hold both views. It’s one or the other. I also receive letters for candidates advocating more governmental services while others promote smaller government. Once again, I cannot hold both views. It’s one or the other. You have to know your target market’s political views. I feel there is no grey area here. You have to be right or you will be very wrong.


Mark Anthony Germanos uses Internet tools to help your ideal customers find you, your products and your services. Mark uses SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, to help his clients get on page 1 and attract more business. Mark’s Sacramento SEO Gold package includes creating a 6,000 word document with abundant content for your online presence. Sacramento SEO Gold will not produce instant gratification, but Sacramento SEO Gold works, gets people on page 1 and creates long-term benefits. Google Sacramento business revival or Sacramento cloud computing to see Mark’s SEO strategies in action. Mark is available at 530-677-8864 and at


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