One of my first tasks when looking at marketing is to define who our ideal customers are. Not everyone who buys from us fits the same persona so it is important to focus your resources on the clients who are most likely to buy from you.
I must admit the first time I did this my notes on who I thought were our ideal customers was based on assumptions and a gut feelings rather than research, needless to say I was way off the mark.
Of course if you have any, historical sales data is the obvious place to start looking but there is more to it than that.
You need to define who your customers are, what motivates them to buy from you and where you are most likely to come into contact with them, this is important in identifying which are the best channels to reach them and the message to use when communicating with them.
Demographics such as age, gender, occupation can be important, what are their pain points and how can you help? What problems can you help solve for them.
A good way to start is by creating customer personas (not just the one) add as much details as you can to each persona to really gain an understanding of who they are, what they need and what motivates them.
Analyse your products and services, who do they appeal to (hopefully the customers defined in the persona) and why, what problems are you solving and why are you different. It is important that as well as your customers you have an understanding of the marketplace you intend to occupy.
Perform a competitor analysis on the best companies in your marketplace, what are your competitors doing well and what are they doing badly, if your market has lots of well established companies work out why you are better, why you are different (your USP), is there a gap in the market that isn’t being sufficiently serviced.
Once completed, a marketing analysis can help you develop new products or services that aren’t already being targeted, it can help develop new niche markets and opportunities for growth but be sensible, you can end up offering too much so rather than customers seeing you as an expert in your field, you can be perceived as being someone who offers lots of products and services but with low quality, you need to be seen as the “Go To” company when a customer has a specific need.
One important thing to remember is that when introducing a new product or service research first to make sure there is a need for it, this can save time and money just because you think it’s a good idea you need to know there is a need for it.
These are suggestions only and a marketing strategy must cover a lot more than the above mentioned steps, however, it is a place to start.