Do You Understand Who Your Ideal Client Is, and How They Make Purchasing Decisions?

Updated: April 05, 2010

Regardless of the marketing program you use (newspaper ads, phone book, flyers, coupons, website, etc) these vehicles succeed or fail on the strength and clarity of your marketing message. Why is your message so important? It tells people why you do what you do and why you are different than their other choices. It also focuses on the customer's benefits by conveying the true value of what they want.

Here's a test you can do on your own. Think of something you really want as opposed to something you need. You might need a new suit for work but what you really want is the new iPad. You haven't really ventured into the world of hand held devises so you don't really know who to buy one from. Now, look in the newspaper or on the internet for places that sell iPads. It's doubtful that you will get one for any price lower than the $499 published price. So, how do you decide who to buy from?

Chances are you will make your decision on some other factor important to you; retailer location, waiting time, reputation of the store, other support from the business, or maybe something creative that I haven't mentioned. Whatever it is, was this benefit clearly featured in the ad or website page you looked at? If so, this business has clearly honed in on what they know their ideal clients want. iPads are sold all over the place, yet you have to decide who is going to get your $499.

Businesses who know what their customers want and market their product or services with this key benefit in mind are able to convey real value which shields them, to some degree, from price shoppers. So, how do you figure out what your best clients really want so you can create a compelling marketing message that attracts sales and a continuous flow of loyal customers?

First, determine who your ideal client is. Here's a hint. Their name is not 'Everyone' or 'Anyone'. You not only need to understand their demographics; age, occupation, income level, family structure, etc. but also their 'psychographics' as well. Psychographics deal with what they value, what they worry about, what is most important to them and what they want. Go through your current customer list and identify your best clients. Call them and ask them a few questions. They answers hold the keys to the thoughts, feelings and desires of others like them.

Next, determine what you do differently or better than anyone else who offers a similar product or service. If you ask the right questions of your best clients and listen real carefully, you will learn the reason they chose you to do business with. This is your Unique Selling Proposition- the thing you do or offer than allows people to select you over your competition.

Now, take a look at your current marketing copy. I will bet it's filled with features about your product or service and very little that conveys real value directed at the people you most want to attract. Fixing this problem is not difficult but many times can be greatly enhanced with the help of a small business coach or marketing consultant.

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