Being an entrepreneur is an exciting, and definitely challenging, job. Creating a solid product or service to sell is only a portion of the task. You also have to make sure you’re selling your products or services. And, the first step to accomplishing that half of the profitable business equation is to identify your audience and find the right customers to target.
So we’re going to dive in and I’m going to show you how to use demographics and psychographics to create a profile for your ideal customer…the person you’re going to target with your marketing. Then I’ll share a couple ideas to get you started on how to use this information in your business.
Start With the Demographics
The demographics of your audience are the easy part. You may already have a good idea about the type of person who would buy your product. Demographics are the statistical data about your audience. Common audience demographic categories include age, gender, geographic location, socioeconomic status and so on.
For the business-to-business market, your customer demographics might include their size, organization, geographic location, sales cycle and so on.
Action Step: Get your notebook and write down the demographic information that you know about your audience.
Psychographics are Next
The next step is to consider the values and behavior of your potential audience. These are called their psychographics. What do you know about your audience?
For example, are they soccer moms or socialites? Do they go to church? How do they spend their time and their money? What motivates them to make purchases? How do they shop?
Another example, do they look for a coupon code online before they purchase? Do they make most of their purchasing decisions based on referrals and recommendations?
Again, for the business-to-business market your psychographics might relate to your customer’s mission and vision. What are their corporate values? Who does the buying and what’s important to them?
Action Step: Go back to your notebook and write down the psychographic information about your audience.
Combining the Information for an Ideal Customer
Once you have both the psychographics and the demographics of your audience, write a paragraph that describes your customer. You might find that you have more than one customer within your information. That’s okay. Write paragraphs and descriptions for each of them. This paragraph is called a customer profile.
As you begin to make sales and reach your audience, you might find that your customer profile changes a bit, or that you have different customers than you imagined. Your business and your audience can and will change over time. However, for now, this is your starting point.
Using the Profile to Find the Right Customers to Target
Now that you have a description of your customer, what’s the best way to connect with them when they’re in need of your product or services?
For example, if you know that your audience is young females who make purchases based on referrals, then social media may be a solid sales and marketing tool. If you know that your audience is active senior citizens, then you might advertise in your local newspaper or use direct mail.
Understanding your customers and target audience is the first step to selling your products or services. You have to know who they are, what they do, and how they buy in order to properly position yourself as a solution. And while research does play a role in this process, there’s a good chance you have a lot of information about your customer already. Organize it, write it down, and start getting in front of your customers.
Go get started!