When it comes to growing your small business, getting to know your ideal customer is absolutely crucial. If you don’t, how will you know who you’re selling to? What their needs are? And what they actually want to hear from you? For example, if you’re selling to a mother, does your thought process stop there? Or do you actually think about how old she is? Or how old her children are? There’s (obviously!) no point trying to sell toddler gear to a woman with teenagers! Likewise there’s little point bombarding someone on a below average income with messaging about luxury holidays.
It may also be that you have more than one ideal customer, especially if you have different strands to your business. For example, a small consultancy business may provide one service for their fellow small businesses, but they may also provide some sort of corporate consultancy to the bigger players.
So when it comes to getting to know your ideal customer, what do you actually need to know? Here are three key areas that warrant a little (or a lot!) more research.
1. Know your demographic
This one is fairly easily overlooked, and often, people don’t delve deep enough into who their ideal customers actually are. It’s not enough to say that your customers are ‘women’. To be able to successfully target your messaging at your ideal client, it’s so important to get to know them in an increased level of detail. Instead then, ask whether they are they female? Married? With or without children? What’s their job? Do they work full time or part time? Is their lifestyle active or more sedentary?
2. What are their shopping/purchasing habits?
This is an important one, and one that yields far more information than you might think. For example, if you believe your ideal customer shops in John Lewis and gets their food shopping from Waitrose, what does that tell you? Probably that your customer has a good level of income. Potentially that they’re willing to invest in more expensive items. That quality products matter. Would that make them more, or less likely to buy from you?
And in the current climate, you also need to get to know your customer’s shopping habits post-pandemic. For example, if your ideal customer remains reluctant to shop or consume services in-person, you’ll know there is little point in cultivating a face to face presence.
3. Where do they hang out?
A third important part of getting to know your ideal customer is finding where they hang out, both in person and online. Knowing where these places are helps you ensure that you are putting your message out there in the right places. For example, if you know they often work in a particular local cafe, can you enlist that cafe in your marketing efforts? And what about social media? Do your customers hang out on Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn or TikTok?
These are just three of the areas you need to consider when you’re getting to know your ideal customer, and the points included in each are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the level of detail you might choose to consider. But the key is firstly, to do your research. Luckily, there is a plethora of information out there that can help you. For example, social media demographics and trends like these are published regularly across a number of platforms and websites. You can also read more about this topic in our Definitive Guide to Starting a Small Business.
The second is to capture all of the information in a format that works for you, and most important, one that will be useful for you as things move forward.
At Tabono we love working on customer profiles and seeing them evolve, so if you need some support getting to know your ideal customer, let us know!