Marketing Strategy: Discovering your Target Market Define your Ideal Client

  • Start with the Smallest Niche Possible. Find a group of customers that think what you have to offer is special.

    • Your key is to find a very narrow group, with very specific demographics or a very specific problem or need and create raving fans out of this group. You can always expand your reach after you gain traction, but you can also become a big player in this smaller market as you grow.

    • Find your most profitable clients.

      • From that group, identify those that refer

        • Name them

          • What do they have in common?

          • What demographic characteristics do they share?

  • Create an Initial Value Hypothesis

    • Finding a narrow group who finds what you have to offer special.

    • You must create a “why us” value proposition and use that as you hypothesis for why us.

    • What behavior makes them ideal clients?

      • Why do they refer you?

      • Where can you add value?

  • Get reality in Discovery Test Sessions

    • Once you have an idea of who your ‘Target Customer’ is that fits the above two parameters, schedule a Test Session with them.

    • The main thing is that you start talking to prospects about what they need, what they think, what works, what doesn’t and what don’t have now. This is how you evolve your business, your features and your assumptions based on serving a narrowly defined target.

  • Draw an Ideal Customer Sketch

    • Once you’ve trotted out your hypothesis and tested it with your narrow group, you’ve got to go to work on discovering and defining everything you can about your ideal target group.

    • Some of this information will be commonly understood, such as demographics, but much of it will be discovered in your test sessions and though some additional research in more behaviorally oriented places such as social media.

    • Start your Customer Relationship Management system

      • Customer relationship management (CRM) is an approach to managing a company's interactions with current and future customers. It often involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support.

  • Add Strategy Model Components

    • When you discover your initial ideal client it should impact the thinking about your basic business model and overall business strategy.
    • All great business models are customer focused and now that you have a picture of this customer it’s time to consider how this alters the other aspects of your business.

    • Consider now how this discovery might impact your offerings, your revenue streams, distribution channels and even pricing.

      • What types of products does your ideal client need?    

      • What other products do they need but are not aware of?

    • Consider how you can reach this market, who you can partner with and what resources you either have or need to have in order to make an impact in this market.

      • Create a referral system with other businesses who service your ideal client niche.

    • As your business evolves, as you learn and grow, this model will evolve as well, but perhaps the continual process of discovery is just as important as what you discover.

      • Journal your experiences and make notes in your CRM system concerning your client experiences and how you can continue to serve them better.

      • Over time, you will be able to develop a SWOT based on your ideal client.

      • The sketch you create you will use as the foundation for your marketing guide.