One of the biggest marketing mistakes I find many small businesses make is trying to reach way too many people. This often stretches their marketing budget thin, making it ineffective. Not knowing who your ideal client is can majorly affect the success of your marketing strategy.
Why does this happen? I have found simply that it is because of fear; fear that if you narrow down your target market you will get less business. Many small businesses make the mistake of casting a wide marketing net thinking that the more people you reach, the more business you can bring in. Unfortunately this is usually not the case and can create ineffective marketing initiatives that result in poor ROIs (Return on Investment).
Before developing a marketing strategy it is crucial to work out who is your ideal client. Here are the typical questions I ask my clients:
- What products or services do you want to market? Most companies offer a wide variety of services or products and trying to effectively market them all on a small budget can’t be done. Is there a specific service or product that yields a higher profit?
- Who are the people that will most benefit from my product or services or who will be most likely purchase my products or services? Write down what you think. Asking this question may result in several different groups of people.
- Of the groups that you have identified with, who do you most identify with? Who are you most like? This will make it easier for you to market to these people.
- What area do you want to reach? For most local companies I have them start between 30-45 miles from their location.
Here is an example of this process from a local roofing company in Arbor, MI:
- Service with the highest profit margin: roof replacement
- Who are the people that I want to market to: the easiest answer would be anyone who needs a roof with in a particular area, but that is too general. You would want to say homeowners with a household income over $100,000 as this segment of people will have more money to work with and will be more likely to want to invest in a higher quality shingle, which can generate more profit. Looking at your clientele, maybe you find that you work with more men than women.You could also create subgroups such as people who are selling their home or people who have recently purchased their home, which will depend on you knowing the trends in your area. If you don’t have a lot of real estate activity then it doesn’t make sense to market to them.
- With local companies I usually suggest that you market within a range of 30-45 miles from your location to help keep the marketing initiative focused. Depending on how many people live in your area that may be too wide of an area, so doing a range that is more 15-20 miles may be more appropriate.
So our ideal client is: Men, who are homeowners, who have an annual household income of more than $100,000, who live within 30-45 miles of your location.
Now that you have your ideal client, or target market, identified you can work out a strategy that will effectively market to those people. You need to look at all your marketing materials: brochures, postcards, website, etc. from the point of view of a person in your target market. You need to ask yourself can people in my target market identify with the verbiage or images that I’ve used. For instance, for the above roof company example I will want to use more upscale looking homes because those are the homes that segment of people will be living in.
As you see a return on investment from your marketing strategy you can look at the other groups or segments that you have identified and expand your marketing plan to reach more people. If you struggle with identifying your ideal client or are not sure how to move forward on creating a better marketing strategy, give us a call, (734) 273-9301, or send us an email, firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help you!