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The purpose of all marketing is to reach out and generate interest in what you have to offer, thus bringing more business in. But who should you reach out to? A scattershot approach will ensure that somebody who sees your materials will take steps to learn more, but for every lead, money is being wasted on several other people who don’t care.
It stands to reason then, that the most practical approach is to take an additional step before you get the word out, and figure out who is most receptive to hearing it. To do that, you need to create a profile of your ideal customer.
Identifying the Prime Suspect
If you’re dealing with an existing product, a simple demographic survey can help you determine traits that your customers share in common. Simple questions about age, gender, income, location, and occupation can give you a good feeling for what kinds of people make up your satisfied customer base.
However, if your business is bringing something new to market, then a couple options are available. Pre-release focus group studies can be done to figure out where potential interest may lie, but the sample size may not be large enough to draw conclusions without making too much cost. If you don’t have the resources to focus group, you’ll just have to compile a customer profile on your own.
Doing so is a mixture of identifying trends and some guesswork. If your product is an exciting bit of consumer tech, your demographic may skew younger. Software designed to help businesses will need to be sold to people who call the shots in making purchases for businesses. By taking broad ideas of what your brand does and marrying them with what certain groups of people are trying to do, you can quickly find at least a solid fit somewhere.
Another key indicator to look at is similar interests or activities that match your customer profile. Suppose that you determine that out of the people most likely to interact with your brand, you determine that an average of about 70% of them are interested in ice hockey. This data absolutely is in line with customer profiling and should be added to the list of relevant facts.
You now know a great place to target your marketing campaign – sports sites, hockey blogs, maybe even run a spot during an important game or get a live advertisement. If 70% of your potential customers are hockey fans, you want to get the message out about your brand somewhere that you can trust it will be seen.
This can be a little difficult to make connections with, especially when you are working with broad groups of data, but the more large groups of data you are able to combine, the smaller the overlaps between them become.
Avoid Tunnel Vision to Stay Fresh
It is worth noting that you do not however want to focus solely on those overlaps, because not all of your customers will be exactly the same. The idea behind customer profiling is to give you a basis for a high-return marketing strategy, but further returns can be made outside the bubble. You don’t want to alienate other customers by focusing on solely one angle.
Use the early momentum from the profile you generated to branch out and find other potential markets with the same levels of interest and strength. Even though the density may vary across demographics, anywhere there is a need that your brand can fill is a place that merits your business’s attention.
The trick is identifying where those needs may lie, and a solid customer profile is always a great place to start.