“Everyone” is not your ideal customer. People create solutions to solve people’s problems. And everyone doesn’t have the same problem. Your solutions, products or services might be used by a broad audience, but which customers does your solution really resonate with and reflect the highest net promotion, profitability and retention?
That’s your ideal customer.
It’s time to identify, target and align development, marketing and sales efforts that speak to your ideal customer. Serving everyone often leads to serving no one. Finding your uniqueness and relevancy in the marketplace and executing against a sustainable strategy is always improved by gaining organizational alignment around your ideal customer profile.
Defining your Ideal Customer Profile starts with identifying common demographic and psychographic attributes shared by your best customers.
Let’s start with Demographic attributes. These are readily measureable. It’s great if you have the data. If not, just collect a large sample of your best customers; the ones you wouldn’t want to lose and want to win more of. What do they have in common? Attributes may include:
- Economic or social status
- Title within an organization
- Geographic location
Psychographics are usually a bit harder to measure, unless you’re doing a lot of market research and asking the right questions. They are the behavioral attributes of your ideal customer. What is their emotional association with your solution? What are they really trying to fix, accomplish, or avoid? These attributes are from the customer’s perspective, not yours. A few examples may include:
- What do they avoid?
- What are they seeking?
Having trouble identifying commonalities defining the psychographic attributes of your Ideal Customer Profile? Talk with anyone in your organization that is customer facing. Usually it’s sales. Better yet. Do it as a group exercise. You’ll quickly learn if there’s alignment or misalignment from an organizational perspective. If everyone’s not on the same page, then it’s likely your solution development, marketing and sales efforts aren’t either.
Remember, you’re profiling an individual. It’s the person who is the ultimate decision maker in choosing your product or service. Document your Ideal Customer Profile and socialize it throughout the organization. Use it as a filter in decision making. The organizational alignment it fosters goes a long way in closing the gap between strategy and execution.
StrategyCheck: Does your organization agree on who your ideal customer is?
Our next StrategyCheck newsletter will focus on defining your Ideal Organizational Profile. This exercise focuses on defining the attributes of an organization and the collective buying influences often involved in making a purchasing decision.