Defining an ideal customer can help your new business more than merely defining a target market
Perhaps you are starting your business, reentering the workforce, or taking over marketing responsibilities at work. You have a target market. This ideal customer persona further refines your target market.
For example, suppose you just purchased an assisted-living home. This is a place where loved ones take their parents to live when their parents can no longer live at home or care for themselves.
- Your target market may be a 40-60-year-old woman in Northern California. She works for a large healthcare provider. Applying this to your ideal customer persona, you can add What does she think of my profession? Her parents raised her. She is returning the favor. She does not need you or the service you offer, she thinks.
- Your target market earns $100,000 a year or more. She is a vice president. Applying this to your ideal customer persona, you can add, How much decision-making authority does she have? She must be great when making decisions and getting others’ buy-in. After all, she’s a vice president.
- Your target market travels internationally at least 10 days per month. She always carries her passport. Applying this to your ideal customer persona, you can add, What is her pain point, and how can you solve it? She feels guilty about her travel and leaving parents home alone so often. She needs a place where Mom can feel safe, warm, and loved every day. Your ideal customer cannot provide that. Can you?
Maybe your ideal customer is already a customer
Perhaps you are already running a business or doing the marketing, but the whole Internet marketing concept is something new to you. A friend handed you http://idealcustomer.net and told you to read it cover-to-cover. You want better results. You want to spend less. Newspaper, magazine, and phone book ads are not generating a strong enough return. You saw ideal customer in the title. This sounds appealing.
Perhaps your ideal customer is already a customer. Look at the customers you attract. What common traits do they share? Apply the 80/20 rule: 80% of your income comes from 20% of your customers. Ask these additional questions about the 20% that keeps you in business:
- What is her gender?
- What is her age range?
- How much education does she have?
- What does she do in her free time?
- Where does she get her information?
Create a composite. You can even give her (or him) a name. You are so fortunate that you already have people on your customer list. Find the traits they have in common. You are attracting those traits. They are part of your ideal customer persona.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that I am referring to your ideal customer in the feminine. That is intentional. Most of my customers have a woman owner or as my contact. If your ideal customer is a man, change the gender.