12 questions to define your ideal customer

Building a marketing strategy for your small business without knowing your ideal customer is like going on Tinder and swiping right on everybody. Sure, you might eventually find someone interesting but you will waste a lot of time with people that don’t even resemble the man or woman of your dreams. In Marketing, we call this tactic “spray and pray”.

Much like Prince Charming, your ideal customer values you, is loyal and tells everyone about how much they love you. Selling to your ideal customer is straightforward: they don’t beg for massive discounts, they don’t make unreasonable demands, they don’t require additional expenses.

If you are working hard to grow a small business, especially if you are running all your marketing on your own and with very little marketing budget to invest, you should focus on your ideal customer.

Who is your ideal customer?

How do you find this ideal customer, this mystic creature that every business owner dreams of? You can start by looking back and analysing the customers who purchased from you before:

  1. Are they consumers (B2C) or other businesses (B2B)?
  2. Where are your customers located?
  3. Who are they? What’s their age, gender, occupation?
  4. When do they need your products or services? Is there a particular period of time when you sell more (seasonal)?
  5. What do they buy from you?
  6. Why do they buy from you? What’s special about you?
  7. How do they buy? Is it online or in person?
  8. How much do they typically spend?
  9. How often do they buy from you?
  10. Who else do they buy from? Who are your main competitors when selling to them?
  11. Who do they buy it for? Is it for themselves or for someone else?
  12. Which other associated costs do you have when selling to them?

Now try ranking your customers by 3 categories:

  • Your biggest spenders
  • Your most frequent buyers
  • Your easiest sales, the ones that give you no headaches or extra costs.

What do these people have in common? You should start noticing some patterns in customer behaviour and preferences. You may find out that the majority of your biggest spenders are men aged 40-50 who buy from you online, or that your most frequent buyers like coming to your store in the morning and live within a 5-mile radius.

That vast range of people who could buy from you is your targeted audience. That select group of customers who are easy to sell to, spend lots of money, buy frequently from you and recommend you to others, those are your ideal customers. Treat them like gold.

Published by Carolina Marino Sargeant

I’m Carolina Marino Sargeant. I am a British/ Brazilian professional with 15 years’ experience in Marketing and Corporate Communications. I have been at both ends of the spectrum, having worked for very small businesses with no marketing budget and for Fortune 100 tech giants with hundreds of marketing professionals. My website howtogrowmybusiness.co.uk offers marketing ideas and tips for small businesses and self-employed professionals who would like to grow their revenue or income with little to no marketing budget.

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