Marketing is a challenge for any business, but especially for small businesses with limited resources. That’s why identifying your ideal client is so important. When you don’t know who to market to, you end up marketing to everybody.
San Diego, CA (PRWEB) March 29, 2013
Despite an economy that appears headed in the right direction, small business owners are feeling more stressed than ever, says Gabrielle Karol on Fox Business. In fact, an annual small business survey conducted by Brother, found that 58% of business owners reported higher stress levels in 2013 than in 2012. One approach to reducing this stress, suggests Bop Design, a San Diego website design agency, is for companies to focus their marketing efforts on their ideal clients.
“Marketing is a challenge for any business, but especially for small businesses with limited resources,” says Jeremy Durant, a principal in Bop Design. “That’s why identifying your ideal client is so important. When you don’t know who to market to, you end up marketing to everybody, which is a sure recipe for failure. Identifying your ideal client can reduce stress because it narrows the scope of your marketing efforts and enables you to use your marketing dollars much more effectively.”
To identify their ideal client, companies should ask questions like:
- Who should buy from us, and why?
- Do they have the financial resources to buy from us?
- Of this group, which clients will be the easiest to find and sell to?
- Which clients are we most likely to develop ongoing relationships with?
- Which clients will deliver the most revenue over the life of our relationship with them?
Answering these questions starts with gathering as much demographic information as possible. For companies that sell to consumers, this will include age, sex, occupation, income level, zip code and other lifestyle information. B2B companies will want to focus on the industry, sales volume, number of employees, geographic area, and other factors.
Next, companies should identify their clients’ “pain points” in relation to their products or services. This is especially important in the B2B arena. What problems, challenges or issues do the company’s clients face? How do the company’s products or services solve them? How does solving them benefit the client? For example, how does it help them to lower costs or operate their business more efficiently? How does it help them solve problems for their clients?
Once companies have this data, the next step is to study their clients’ buying processes. A lot of customers will have a legitimate need for the company’s products or services, but some may buy in a way that doesn’t fit their business model. Others might buy in a way that could make it difficult to obtain the desired margins. These businesses can still become clients, but they won’t qualify for the ideal client category.
Companies that don’t have the time or resources to conduct a lot of formal research should try this approach: pick their best current client and write down all the characteristics that make them #1. How big are they? How many employees do they have? What do they buy? Why do they buy? How much do they buy? What makes them easy to work with? Do they pay on time? Do they refer other clients? Do they suggest ways to improve customer service?
Think of everything that makes them a great client. Then create a profile that describes them in detail. These are the kinds of companies that will provide the best return for the business, and these are the kinds of companies that should drive the marketing effort. This approach doesn’t suggest turning away any business that doesn’t fit the profile. But it does indicate where to focus the majority of the company’s resources to get the best return on their marketing investment.
“When you have a clear picture of your ideal client, marketing your business becomes a lot easier and more cost-effective,” says Durant. “Rather than broadcasting your marketing messages to the entire world – an expensive proposition even in today’s Internet/social media world – you can concentrate all your resources on those clients most likely to buy from you.”
About Bop Design
Bop Design is a San Diego website design agency with offices also in the New York metro area. We express a business values through branding, advertising, design and web design. We also help attract a firm's ideal customer through search engine optimization and search engine marketing. The marketing firm's focus is on small businesses that want an external team of marketing specialists to help give their brand an edge in the marketplace.