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How To Pinpoint Your Model Customer

One of the biggest problems many new businesses face is working out who their model customer really is. So much time and effort goes into creating and perfecting a product or service that the marketing often becomes secondary. The problem with this is that targeting as many people as possible often leaves you with a confused message that ends up alienating the customers that you really want.

A business owner is in a desirable position. They are in control of the perception of their product and can amend this if required. In the early stages of product development it is worthwhile to spend time working out who you would like to sell to, and subsequently you can tailor your product, marketing and sales towards this person. You are in the position to frame your product in the customer’s mind, so take this opportunity before the control is lost.

A good place to start is with a series of interviews with potential customers. In order to find these people you can place advertisements, or take a look through relevant forums where people are discussing related topics. Where possible, conduct the interview over the phone as this gives you a much better opportunity to create a thorough impression of your ideal customer.

Armed with your interview notes, along with forum and social media research, begin to create a mood board. This will typically feature images, text and any other objects that will give you a fuller picture of the person you are targeting. Your mood board will make your model customer feel real, allowing you to focus your marketing as though you were speaking directly to them.

At this point you should be aware of a lot of key information. You should have an idea of an age range of your customer, how much they earn, where they live and how educated they are. This takes care of one aspect of your marketing. Also, you should understand where they are likely to find your product, what they expect from you as a business and what values they have. This will further enhance your ability to communicate with them.

An additional benefit of this process is that you will not have to deal with the type of customer you really don’t want. This is the type of person who can cause a drain on your time and resources through excessive customer service requests or refunds. If, for example, you are selling an information course and don’t want to deal with beginners, your marketing can be tailored to a more advanced crowd. You speak directly to the savvy person in your market while simultaneously stopping the beginner from pursuing an interest.

It should also be noted, you are not isolating your business from all branches of the market indefinitely. There are always possibilities for expansion at a later date. This could include introducing a new product line, an advanced or budget version of the product and anything else relevant to your market.

Going through this process is very simple to do but can make all the difference to your marketing efforts and the type of customer you attract. It may seem unnecessary in the early days of product creation, but working out the model customer you want to deal with can vastly improve your revenue, cut down costs and make the customer service process far more pleasurable.