When you’re asked who buys your products, do you wax lyrical about all the things you know about them? Or do you say erm…pause a lot and then say who you ‘think’ is purchasing from you? If you’re not sure who your ideal customer profile is, then keep reading as this blog will help you to find it out.

Why should you get to know your customer?

If you feel like you’re not getting anywhere with your marketing, take a step back to understand your customer.

If you’ve been marketing your business but feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall, then it maybe that you’re missing some vital information about your client. Perhaps you’re targeting people who aren’t interested in your product, or you’re posting on social media platforms that your ideal client isn’t on. When you understand your customer, their motivations and their behaviour, your marketing generally becomes much easier. You can focus your efforts on the areas which are going to attract the right people.

How to understand your ideal customer

If you’ve been on any business courses, you may have been asked to write about or even draw your ideal customer profile. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to get creative with pens and paper. Here are some practical tips that you can use to get to know your target market.

Have a conversation

Talking to your customers can give you some key insights into their reasons for shopping with you.

Nothing beats talking to your customers so take the time and have conversations with them. Perhaps if you send a follow up satisfaction email, make a call to them instead.

Ask them questions such as:

  • what made them purchase from you?
  • what need did they have?
  • where else did they shop beforehand?

And if you have a particular question about a new product or design, use this conversation to research what your ideal customer would like.

You could even take this one step further and organise some focus groups. They could be in the form of a small, local shopping evening, for example. If people are engaged with your brand, they’re probably going to want to tell you what they think.

Customer surveys

Set up a survey to find out more from your customers.

What happens if you can’t talk directly to your customer? I know it can be tricky, particularly if you are solely an e-commerce business. Online surveys are a good option, if they’re done well. I’d recommend offering an incentive for these to be completed – something like the opportunity to win a voucher or prize. Don’t offer your own product or service as a prize as this is a no no with the guidelines from The Market Research Society.

You can use Google Docs or software such as SurveyMonkey to create your survey. Try and make the survey short and sweet (no one wants to spend hours and hours answering questions). If you’re using questions that require a ‘scaled’ answer, label them differently from 1-10. Think clearly about what information you want to gain from the survey.

Send the survey to your email marketing database or attract new customers by promoting it via your social media channels.

If you want to know more about surveys, there’s some useful tips in this webinar. Quantitative Market Research: How to find out what people aren’t saying.

Look at the data

Use data from places such as Google Analytics or Social Media Insights.

Do you have access to any existing data? I’m talking about Google Analytics or Social Media Insights as a starting point. You can understand an incredible amount using these tools – and they’re already at your fingertips.

You can understand your customer:

  • Demographics
  • Geographic information
  • How they reached your website
  • What phrases they used to find your website
  • Which social media channels they use
  • What their interests are

The list could go on and on as there’s so much information available!

If you’d like to know which social media channel is best for your business, read my blog to help you to decide.

Information from your website

Ideal customer profile
Use tools on your website to see what actions customers take on their purchasing journey.

You can use tools such as HotJar on your website which can show you how people are using your website using heatmaps and you can even watch videos to see what journey the customer takes. You could also add a pop up survey at the bottom of your page. This will also help you improve your conversion rate.

Find out about your ideal customer profile

With these four tips, I’m hoping that you will be able to learn more about your ideal customer profile, so that your marketing becomes more focused and brings you the rewards.

If you feel like you’re struggling to get to know your customer and would like some help, please get in touch as I’d love to help.

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