Typically when I meet a new client for the very first time I always ask “who is your best / ideal customer?” and usually my client can answer me. Understanding who they are is of course very important but what is equally important and understanding why they are your customer.
Over the years I’ve found many tools that have helped me understand this and now use the draft below as a very meaningful tool to use when understanding both who and why my customer are my customers.
First get a large sheet of paper, a white board or a flipchart:
If you’re a brand new business and have never, ever worked in this space (tourism, retail, hospitality, etc) before then a lot of speculation will be needed naturally, but most people either have worked in their respected area before or know someone who has. Either way, jot down some of the characteristics of the people who USUALLY are attracted to or NEED to purchase from you.
For example, if you’re selling childrens clothes then the highest likelihood of customer would surely be a parent first and a grandparent second. By doing this exercise you’re now thinking critically of your BEST and IDEAL audience. Naturally anyone may want to buy your product/ service but we want to create an avatar of your BEST clients first.
Most businesses have 3+ best avatars. These may include a business to business and another business to consumer avatar as well. Consider ones in different locations or even countries.
The people you are targeting, give them a name and a gender. Typically you would blend together a 18-24 year old and a 25-30 year old but as your customer gets older you may want to space it to 10 years, eg 35-45 year old.
What matters to a 21 year old is not very likely going to matter to a 51 year old so it serves to separate them out.
Where do they comfortably live income wise? Are they students, single professional people, CEO types?
This is a sliding scale of less or more importance these days but some products and services are still more likely bought by one or the other.
This may matter more for larger purchases and higher ticket items, so if you’re selling kitchens, cars or custom furniture then knowing that there is a budget set aside for this is very helpful.
As mentioned previously, knowing the location of your audience can also help target them. Do you find the largest of your desired audience in a major city?
Are you targeting CEO’s, Purchasing Officers, HR staff? Who is in a position to make a decision about purchasing from you?
Does YOUR customer have a customer they care about (B2B)? How can you help your customer find their best customer as well?
By developing an understanding of these you’re understanding the personality of the person whom you are targeting.
#Values & Beliefs
Are they vegan, climate champions, or are they time pressed entrepreneurs? Are they politically or religiously motivated?
#Interest & Hobbies
What do they do for fun? Where do they go on holiday?
#Business and Personal Aspirations
Are they scaleups or startups? Are they hoping to add new locations / staff? Do they want to ideally step away from the rat race and get staff to work for them? Do they want to create a passive income?
What keeps them awake at night? Either personally or professionally.
You are a business owner and now people “expect” something of you and you naturally “expect something of them. Make sure you outline what you want from them and have to offer them back.
Where do you find this audience spending their time for FUN? Facebook, Instagram, Google search, TikTok?
#News and Industry
Where does your ideal audience spend time learning new things? Newsletters, events, Twitter?
Is your desired audience online shoppers on Amazon, independent stores, in person at Tesco’s?
Does your audience decide on price, outcome, prestige, ease of access, speed or a combination of any of these?
#Long & Short Term Goals
Everyone that finds your business, wants something, what is it?
#Features Tell / Benefits Sell
Can you outline both of these clearly and objectively?
It’s not what you’re selling that matters, it’s what they’re getting that does. Keep remembering the problem you’re solving.
#How & Where
What mental acrobatics does your audience have to make to think of your business and industry in the first place? What motivates them in the first place to come to a business like yours?
Is there someone or something that influences people to buy from a business like yours? Tradeshows, Googling, Flyers, HSE etc.
What’s in it for them during and after a sale? Do they get follow up? Affiliate codes, discounts, downloads?
Now repeat this exercise for each avatar and maybe even give them a name or even a photo, to make it that much more memorable for you.
Come back to this in a years time and tweak the information and possibly even add an avatar or two as hopefully you’re attracting a more diverse audience every year.
If you would like some support with this, please contact me today.