Customer segmentation may be the single most important strategy when it comes to marketing. Your ideal client, your buyer persona, whatever you want to call it, is the type of client that you want to work with. The process of defining your ideal client provides you with better details about who your client is, what their problems are and how you can solve them. It examines their behaviour patterns, motivations and goals, so that when you communicate with a prospect, you can match them against the criteria to see if they are a good fit. Further, it focuses your marketing message directly to these clients, filtering out the chuff and maximising your return on investment.
Creating Your Ideal Persona
It can be somewhat overwhelming to try and define your ideal customer from scratch. You may be tempted to try and think of specific characteristics first, however, it is often easier if you define the broader characteristics first.
Name your Persona – for example, Jim the Accountant.
Job Title – You may be looking for the owner of the business, or it may be a operations manager, marketing officer, or business development manager. Try to add details about the role that this person fulfils.
Company – What kind of company is the person working for? Is the structure even a company, perhaps they are a sole trader or in a partnership. Do they have employees? If so, how many?
Demographics – Ask yourself who is likely to be the main point of contact in the position within the business that you are targeting. Are they young or old? Male or female? How much do they earn? Are they in a rural area, or urban/suburban location? Do they have a family? What is their highest level of education?
Goals and Challenges – What goals might they have for their business? What challenges do they face in achieving these goals? How can you help them solve these challenges?
Values / Fears – Who are they as a person? Would they help their competition if they were drowning, or would they grab a hose? What might they be afraid of when considering to work with you? What common objections may you get during your sales process? How can you answer their questions?
Data analytics provides the opportunity for you to get a good grasp on who your customers are and who may be interested in your services. There are three key areas to look; Your website, your social media, and your customers.
Getting data about your visitors from your website has never been more accessible than it is today. Google Analytics is a free resource that provides a large amount of information about the people who are visiting your website. To learn more about how to use Google Analytics, check out our guide, ‘The Beginner’s Guide on How To Use Google Analytics’.
Your social media
If you have a business page on Facebook, you can use Facebook Insights to view who is viewing, liking and engaging with your posts. A better way to get information about your potential clients though, is to use social listening. Social listening is the process of tracking conversations about specific topics, phrases, and industries with the objective to gain actionable insights that lead to opportunities. The easiest way to do this is to use a tool such as SproutSocial.
This part assumes that you already have clients. Asking your existing clients about themselves does two things; It helps you with your persona research, but it also grows the relationship with you actually showing interest in your client. Of course, some questions you will have to assume, such as annual salary and ,these days, gender. Your existing clients can be a great resource for information about how to better serve them and your future clients as well. Just make sure you ask the clients you actually want to work with, no use expending energy on the less likeable ones.
Giving Your Persona Purpose
Establishing the message that you want to present when you are marketing to your newly define client becomes easier once you actually know who you are trying to attract into your business. When you know what challenges they face, you can narrow down on those pain points and establish marketing messages based around irritating those pains.
Just as it is important to define the challenges that your ideal client faces, so to is it important to align your services as a solution. By understanding where your services fit into helping your client solve their problem, you will quickly be able to communicate this to your potential client. This shows expertise, value and actually shows the client that you have taken the time think about their business. Where your marketing message is designed to irritate the pain point, your sales process should be to demonstrate how your services relieve that pain.