August 3rd, 2020

How to Find Your Ideal Customer

Do You Really Know Who Your Ideal Customer Is?

Many companies think they know their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). But frequently this critical profile is based on who we think our customers are rather than actually knowing who they are. If you’re casting a very wide net based on general assumptions instead of data, you could be wasting as much as 20% of your marketing dollars rather than spending them with precision for a greater ROI.

Where Do You Start?

The good news is you probably already have a great starting point that will help you figure out how to target the right prospects. Look at the quantitative data of your existing customers and begin building the profile from there. Typically, you’ll already have key information about age, gender, income, household size, education level, occupation, and more.

Be sure to segment this data into smaller groups as much as you reasonably can. For example, there’s a tendency to lump age ranges into groups such as 18-35, 25-54, and so on. Yet the buying behaviors and motivations for people in their 20’s is different from people in their 30’s, which is also different from people in their 40’s. The same can be said for men’s buying motivations compared to women’s, single people compared to married people, or people who have children compared to those who don’t. Overlay data from the various segments to develop a meaningful ICP. You may be very surprised by what you learn.

For more tips about quantitative data and how to use it as an effective tool for targeting prospects, take a few minutes to read our helpful Show Me Your Demographics PDF.

What Else Do You Need to Know? It’s Fascinating!

Now that you’ve got your customer data organized, it’s time to delve into the subjective reasons why a customer buys from you. It’s just as important to know qualitative data as it is quantitative data when building your ICP.

Qualitative data lets you peer into the battlefield of the mind, and what you learn can be fascinating. Knowing what your customers think and how they feel about your product gives crucial insights that can be used for branding, strategic positioning, and messaging. Some examples of qualitative categories are:

  • Product is a Good Value – Notice this is not the lowest price. If consumers bought solely on price, there would only be generic or store brands rather than more expensive national brands, and we’d all be driving the same inexpensive car.
  • Product Characteristics – Among these are taste, color options, durability, or other features that are unique to your product.
  • Convenience – This could be the ease with which an order can be placed, how quickly it ships, no fuss returns if the customer changes his/her mind, etc.
  • Emotional Appeal – The purchase makes the customer feel good about supporting a local business, USA manufacturing, or a worthy cause. During the holidays, you’ll notice national brands use emotional appeal by tying their sales in with donations to recognized charities.
  • Societal Identification – Your customer identifies with what your brand messaging subjectively represents or wants to become a member of that group.
  • Trust – Your product or company has high reviews from other customers. You deliver what you promise, which leads to brand loyalty.

How Do You Gather Qualitative Data?

This will take a little work but is well worth the effort! Think carefully about the questions you need to ask to find out what your customers think and how they feel about your products and your company. Today, online surveys are much more common than in-person focus groups. Be sure to use an incentive for answering the survey such as a discount on future purchases or membership in a loyalty rewards program. Remember, it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing customer.

Once you’ve gathered the qualitative responses about your customer’s buying motivations, you can overlay that with your quantitative data. Look for trends, both good and bad, along with possible market segmentations that you may not have thought of before.

And don’t forget to find out why prospects did not buy from you! Doing so may reveal how no-sale prospects perceive your products differently than you thought, are looking for something they think you don’t offer, or frequently chose a competitor. Every “no thanks” is just the beginning of the conversation.

Need More Help?

We know digging into this information can be a daunting task, especially when it requires a laser focus and non-biased attention to detail. Fortunately, there are ways to get you pointed in the right direction.

At Ritter’s, we can look at your customer data, add critical demographics, and show you key areas where you have outperformed the national average. As you rack up statistically significant data, an ideal customer profile will begin to emerge. From there, focusing on your best customers and their experiences becomes your starting point.

The team members at Ritter’s Communications are experts at analyzing data that will help you build a solid ICP. We can effectively formulate strategic campaigns for print and digital marketing channels for you. Ritter’s will help focus your efforts in the areas that you are already successful. Put us to work for you by contacting us today.