Customers are the lifeblood of every business. Whether you’re a small startup that’s just beginning to gain some traction or a large corporation with years of marketing experience, you’re chasing customers that want to spend their money on whatever product or service you offer. Now, you’ve probably heard the term “target market” more times than you can stomach, and more than likely have a solid idea of the kinds of customers you’re after, but, in this article, we’re going to take a deep dive into exactly who the ideal customers of your business are so you can find them and build strong relationships them.
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At its most basic definition, the goal of your business is to offer customers a product or service that makes them happy and solves their problems. What makes ideal customers different from others is the amount of time, effort, and resources you have to expend to acquire them and make them feel good about buying from your brand. In other words, ideal customers are easy to attract, take minimal effort to keep, and naturally become loyal, recurrent buyers. This is by no means the “golden ticket” that will allow you to set your marketing strategies on autopilot and kick your feet up, but ideal customers will give you a better return for the amount of effort (and money) you put into them. The premise behind these types of buyers finding the right chemistry between customer and business that fosters a mutually beneficial relationship.
When you look at your target market, ideal customers already exist within it, just as a more fine-tuned subset that requires deeper digging to find. To help you give you a better idea of who your ideal customers are, we’ve broken down the most popular qualities they usually possess.
While it’s natural to want every potential customer that checks out your brand to open their wallet and buy what you have to offer, not everyone is going to be happy with it. Almost without fail, you’re going to have the customers that take months, if not years of convincing before they painstakingly hand over their money (have a hard time seeing the value). By that same token, you’ll have the customers that are eager to jump on board and dive in head first (fully see the value), also known as ideal customers. You want the customers that are happy to pay for your product or service.
Ideal customers don’t view your brand as a heartless corporation that sucks up all of their money with little to no gratitude, rather, they see it as a two-sided relationship and appreciate the effort you put into the product or service you’re offering, and the continued contact that (should) follow even after the purchase. Naturally, you’re going to have the customers that will never view your product or service as “enough”, and either constantly demand more for their money or simply cease being a customer after the first purchase. Stemming from the above point, ideal customers see the full value.
On top of acquiring a steady stream of customers for your business, the second most highly sought after need is finding customers that are happy and willing to give you their honest feedback. Being that this is the only way you can continue to improve and better cater to your audience, communication is key to all relationships, customer-business included. This is where ideal customers really shine through. They openly give you feedback and tell you exactly what their needs are so you can better serve them and all future customers.
Not only is it true that it costs less to keep existing customers than to acquire new ones, but it’s also one of the best ways to identify who your ideal customers are. When the competition is tough and you still have customers that are choosing to buy from you time after time, those are the ones you want to focus on keeping and finding more of. This is a strong signal that they’ve developed a loyalty toward your brand and, even better, an emotional connection that draws them back to you even when competitors are doing everything in their power to beat you out.
One of the greatest hallmarks of a great product or service is when customers begin recommending it to their friends and family. At this stage, the happiness and loyalty created from the business-customer relationship has turned them into a brand advocate that acts as a powerful form of free advertising.
While the qualities of your ideal customers are what makes them so special to your business, the real trick is finding them. Below, we’ve outlined the “What, Why, How, and Who” that you’ll want to consider when on the hunt for customers that are easily likely to become happy.
At the most basic level, you’ll want to define the common circumstances of their lives. This includes everything from age, gender, and geographic location, to occupation, income level, and even their marital or family status. This is going to quickly narrow your scope so you can focus your efforts with the highest probability.
Taking things a step further, you also need to consider the social and psychological aspects of your ideal customers so you can target them more easily. Consider their preferences, concerns, aspirations, fears, personality type, approach to life, values, and even worldviews if necessary.
In order for your marketing efforts to have the biggest impact, you need to be sure you’re reaching your ideal customers through the best communication channels. How do they receive information and interact socially with the world around them.
When all of these factors come together, they form a clear picture of who your ideal customers really are. Even though it does take some work to truly find out which ones they are, once you know, your business will begin to thrive off of these relationships.
Your ideal customers are those who are most likely to be happy with their purchase(s), to come back for more, and to spread positive word of mouth about your business. If you’re looking for more help with getting customers to advocate for your business, download our free eBook The Power of Online Reviews.