It goes without saying that your customers are your lifeblood. Without a stable client base, your business can’t generate sales, bring in income or create a viable business model. When you sat down and started planning out your new business venture, how much time was spent on profiling your ideal client or customer avatar? Your perfect customer may well evolve and change over the life of the business, but it’s important to clearly define your initial audience right from the outset. This is also particularly important when creating or introducing new products or services in your business. A bit like the chicken and the egg, oftentimes the best new ideas are borne out of a gap or need in the marketplace, and attuning what you do with the needs or wants of your ideal customer can result in great success. In this article, the Fitzpatrick & Robinson team want to challenge your thinking to really hone in on the who, in your what, when, why and how.
Who avails your products and/or services?
Put yourself in the shoes of who your target customer will be, and be specific about it. Having a true understanding of that customer profile is incredibly important in order to know why you do what you do and how best to market to them in a way that speaks to their needs.
Is your ideal customer a high-street consumer, or a procurement manager in a business? Will your audience be younger or older? Are they the financially secure and frivolous type, or someone who’s frugal with limited cash to spend? By hashing out the demographic detail of your ideal customer you’ll start to learn more about their habits and behavior.
What does this demographic need?
A good business model is about providing a solution, or satisfying the needs or wants of their target customer. Understanding those wants and needs in forensic detail is what gives you the power to customise and tailor your offering.
Thinking about your ideal customer’s daily lives, what are some of the challenges they face? What roadblocks are holding them back? What do they dream for themselves and/or their families? Do they have vast aspirations? What kinds of people do they want to become? The more you know about their regular demands, the better positioned you’ll be to meet them.
How does your product and/or service meet these needs?
If you think you’ve got your ideal customer’s needs down-pat, half your battle is won. Offering a product or service that meets those wants or needs, and offering it a price your ideal customer will be happy to pay, is the next challenge.
Ask yourself this, ‘what does my customer want, and how can we provide it?’. If your business can come up with the right solution, you’re already halfway to creating a new customer. Case in point – everyone wants to be fit and do more exercise at a time that suits their lifestyle and commitments. A business that offers 24/7 gym access and/or on-demand digital fitness classes, removes some of those barriers for achieving better health. The ‘needs’ here are access to fitness equipment and guidance, at a time and place convenient for everyone – from a shift worker to a stay-at-home mum. Get it right, and you’ve filled that customer niche.
How do you intend to reach this customer audience?
Without brand awareness, how are you to sell your products and/or services? An important part of your customer research will be understanding which marketing and promotional channels to use that will reach your target audience.
Knowing where your customers hang out – both online and in the real world – is a critical piece of information when it comes to promotion. In the digital age, there’s a myriad of online channels and social media platforms to navigate. But by researching carefully, you’ll soon work out whether your target audience love a good Instagram story, or prefer an old-school letterbox drop. The more detailed you can be about these customer preferences, the better you will be at choosing the right promotional and marketing routes.
So what’s your customer profile?
By combining all the information you’ve gathered into one or several concise customer profiles, you then have a clear target audience for your sales and marketing team to go after.
In the case of our 24/7 Gym example:
- Customer profile: Time-poor, working professionals and/or parents in the 25-45 age bracket, with an interest in health and fitness or looking to lose weight
- Customer need: Access to gym equipment and guided fitness classes at a time that suits their busy schedule
- The solution: A Gym that’s opened 24/7 with on-demand digital classes
- Marketing channels: Local letterbox drops, Facebook Ads, sign-up discount vouchers in workplaces, refer-a-friend campaigns
Understandably, the journey to finding who your ideal customer is and how your business speaks to that avatar might be more complex than the above example. But with the help of our professional team of business planners and advisors at Fitzpatrick & Robinson, we can ensure this all important step in your business strategy is not overlooked.
Need some guidance?
We’d love to hear more about your new business venture and invite you for a coffee and a chat at our head office located in Sydney’s South West suburb of Gregory Hills. Our professional and experienced team are here to help plan for your future- whether you’re a start-up or an established business looking to move in a new direction. Contact us today to arrange a meeting.