Knowing the specifics of your target audience and being able to communicate with them doesn’t happen by accident.
It isn’t a “given.” If you sell houses your ideal client shouldn’t be “anyone that needs to buy a house.”
Will you sell a home to anyone that wants to buy one? SURE YOU WILL! And you should. But if you’re going to spend money on marketing – and every business does – on reaching your audience, you’d better be sure that you have narrowed the scope on who you’re talking to. So, here are some helpful tips:
1) Know your SWOT analysis and do some market research.
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
Let’s look at this briefly. Strengths might be things your company does well (ie: we use Social Hook Videos to get massive amounts of engagement online), Internal resources, such as a knowledgeable staff. Things that separate you from your competition (PRO TIP: Read Blue Ocean Strategy). Weaknesses are the opposite. They might include a poor geographic location for your business or big limitations to your budget or resources. Opportunities would be things that have come up like a new demographic moving into the area due to a large company coming to town. Maybe you’ve just launched a new exciting product line. Then there are Threats. In today’s world – COVID fits in this category for a lot of businesses trying to reach their audience. It could be that there’s construction on your street and people can’t get to your store. Maybe a new competitor has opened up shop in your area.
You get the idea.
This analysis gives you a very clear vision of what you are doing well as a company, but also where you need to guard or grow. Then it’s time to do some market research and start narrowing the scope. Is one of your strengths marketing to the elderly? Is there an opportunity because a new assisted living facility is being constructed in your community? Sounds like some valuable information in regards to identifying and communicating with your ideal client.
2) Purchase Paths and Problems.
Think about it:
Keeping with the above example – you should know how that older couple in the assisted living facility can get to you.
Do they visit your website?
Does the facility have transportation that can bring them to your storefront?
No matter who your ideal client is, you’ll want to identify how the “norm” of that market does business with your company, how they get there, and obstacles to that. If you are ramping up a virtual business, it might look something like: ideal client sees your product on social media > they visit your website > they checkout via PayPal on your contact page.
What are the obstacles? Does your website look good on mobile? Are you getting buried on Social Media by your competition? What if your ideal client doesn’t have PayPal? Identify the obstacles, and fix them so that the path to purchase is smooth and simple for your potential customer.
3) Characterize your existing clientele.
Do you have some regulars?
Look at their demographic profile. Odds are, if they are doing regular business with you, others in that demographic would do business with you as well. Another GREAT option is to take a little bit of time and invest in asking them how they found you, what attracted them to your business, and why they continue to do business with your company. A simple postcard questionnaire and/or giveaway goes a LONG way in this regard. The more you know about your regular customers, the more you can tailor your message to others just like them.
4) Narrow the scope.
One of the common misconceptions in marketing is “for success, cast a wide net” and nothing could be further from the truth.
Look at the titans of industry out there. They choose music, colors, sounds, scenes, graphics, messaging, and more to speak specifically to their ideal client. None of that happens by accident.
The issue here is, most local businesses don’t have access to a team that has done (and will continue to do) the UX Research to make sure your next commercial speaks to a very specific crowd. Don’t think that just because you run a commercial on your local channel that you’re speaking to your target. The object here is to maximize your budget and get the highest return on investment.
Return. On. Investment.
When you do these things – you’ll have one. Think of it this way:
Would you set up a candy store in the lobby of a fitness center? My guess is you wouldn’t. (Though that doesn’t mean I’m not jonesing for a Twix after chest day) Why wouldn’t you? Because even subconsciously the research has already been done. You know who is walking in and out of that lobby. You know what their goals are. You know what they’re striving to eat. To become. Your candy store would go bankrupt.
Take that same candy store and put it outside a playground for kids? Moms wouldn’t love you.
But your pocketbook sure would.