Some larger companies aim to have everyone with a swoosh or a horse on their shirt. However, for most companies, the product isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea and it’s in their best interest not to try. A locally based restaurant won’t find regular diners who don’t value locally sourced produce enough to pay the premium just like a beef jerky monthly subscription can’t hope to convert a group of vegans.
So if we can’t sell to everyone, who should we target with our marketing? From Facebook to Google, we are seeing that platforms are letting advertisers narrow their audience by gender, age, income bracket, in-market status and more. The key is finding a niche that is small enough for people to identify with but large enough to be profitable.
The goal here is to create a customer base that not only purchase our products, but that become brand advocates. It’s very clear in market research and from common sense that consumers are significantly more likely to purchase something from a recommendation over an advertisement. So if a business can bring one brand advocate onboard with their product, they’ll end up seeing stronger engagement and growth.
Let’s do a guided visualization to create our ideal customer. Remember to be specific enough to create someone you can talk to.
- Who is she? What does she look like? (mostly for your mental picture)
- How old is she? What is her income bracket? (This tells us how much disposable income she has)
- What is her family structure? (Married, Single, Dating, Divorced)
- Where does she live? (rural, urban, apartment, townhome, trailer, home)
- What does she value? (brand names, buying local, good deals)
- What are some of her hobbies? (This tells us what she spends her disposable income on.)
- What is her favorite social media platform? How does she share feedback about products she loves or hates?
- How frequently does she shop? How frequently is she in the market for a product like yours?
- How does your product fit into her daily/weekly/monthly/annual routine?
Now give her a name.
Hopefully, you will think of her and use your marketing campaigns to talk to her and convince her to interact with your brand. If your company has many products or services, you can use this tactic to create a handful of ideal customers.
Here are some examples of imaginary customers:
Ideal Customer 1: Kenneth is a forty-something college graduate with a mid level salary. He lives in a rural area in a three-bedroom house with his wife and their dog. He enjoys kayaking, hiking with his dog, and hunting. Kenneth uses facebook to connect with his friends and to share videos related to his beliefs and interests. He knows some brand names but he values the best deal over the brand. He shops when he runs out of things or when things are broken.
Ideal Customer 2: Sarah is a twenty-something recent college graduate with an entry level salary. She lives in a city in a studio apartment with her boyfriend and their cat. Sarah likes to cook, swim and binge on Netflix. Sarah habitually frequently leaves reviews on yelp, trip advisor, facebook, & google for exemplary or poor experiences. She values sincerity and she gets a warm glow from buying locally and responsibly. Sarah becomes very brand loyal. Sarah shops mostly online and browses web stores at least once a week.
Ok… So obviously this is me. But you get the picture. (Actually, I was in the cover picture.) Let me know if you were able to imagine your ideal customer!