Sometimes – I feel like a broken record when I say it – but the most important aspect of marketing for a small company is to keep your ideal customer firmly in mind. Every time I start working with a new client I get to dust off that old drum and start pounding that message with an unrelenting fervor until my new client’s feet are moving to the rhythm.
Targeting a specific ideal customer is the key to marketing success. If you’re a business owner or marketing decision maker you MUST know:
- Who are your ideal customers?
- What do they like?
- Where do they live?
- Where do they work?
It’s been my experience that targeting your ideal customer is SUPER easy when the marketing decision maker is part of the ideal target audience. When the marketing decision maker is a part of the ideal target audience – it’s “easy peasy lemon squeezy” to choose marketing tactics which will appeal to the target audience.
However, when the marketing decision maker is NOT a part of the ideal target audience – that’s when the whole process can begin to go sideways.
For example, a while back I worked with a small business owner on marketing his business. The biggest marketing obstacle we had to overcome was to help him recognize that he was not a part of his ideal target audience. He had a hard time recognizing that what HE liked wasn’t what his ideal target customer liked. (The fact that he was a 35 year old man and his target audience was a 50+ year old made this a real challenge.)
When I was in advertising sales almost two decades ago, there was a saying that radio salespeople used when selling their station to someone who was not a listener:
“I like to eat steak – but when I go fishing I use worms because that’s what fish like to eat.”
Time and time again I see business owners who are fishing with steak – because they LIKE to eat steak. They forget that their target audience – the fish in this word picture – like to eat worms.
If you can’t get outside your own head for long enough to see the world through your target audience’s eyes – then either hire one of your best customers to act as your marketing consultant or hire someone who CAN see the world through their eyes.