I recently provided tips to a group of women entrepreneurs on how a company can stretch its marketing budget. I started out by saying that the first and most important questions I ask prospective clients are “Who is your target audience?” and “Can you please be as specific as possible?”
In response, the client often gives a generic answer that basically says they want everyone to be their customer. They want their brand to appeal to all people and for everyone to love their company.
The reality is that your company can’t be all things to all people. When you try to make a marketing campaign that appeals to everyone, you end up with a watered-down message that’s ineffective. And, you end up competing against so many other companies for that huge slice of pie that you have no chance of standing out.
You need to narrow down your target audience to a very specific type of person to create more targeted marketing messages that truly speak to their needs and have a stronger emotional appeal. It’s all about choosing your slice of the pie as carefully as possible.
How can you identify your ideal client?
1. Make a list of the characteristics of your best clients. For example, they love your products and services, refer business your way and remain fiercely loyal. Identify shared characteristics so you can find more.
2. Describe the demographic. What are the age, gender, income, location and general background of your typical customers? The better you know the demographic, the more effectively you can target them.
3. Determine the problem. What is the biggest problem your product or service solves for your target audience? What is their pain point?
4. Understand their values. What’s most important to your target audience? What do they look for when buying your products or services? What do they value?
5. What is your unique selling proposition? This means what makes you more unique, more valuable and more visible in the market. You have to be unique and fill a special niche to be successful.
One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is not being unique and not positioning themselves as the best choice. You must cut through the clutter and enable your unique selling proposition to drive your business to success.