Customers. A simple word isn’t it? Marketers expand on this word with other terminology such as clients, end users, target audiences, target groups, segments or customer bases.
These terms all mean the same and they all refer to the same thing e.g. who you are trying to sell your product or service to!
You may have one target audience or more than one. One may be more valuable in monetary terms. These key customers are called the ideal customer.
So, how do you determine who is your ideal customer? Surprisingly, the answer is not anyone and everyone! For example, if you are selling golf clubs and bags, your ideal or primary audience may be men in the 25 to 50 age bracket. Your secondary audience may be women in the 40 to 55 age bracket.
Age range and gender are just two ways to determine your target audience. Other methods include:
- Demographics – Location or geography and class (A, B, C1, C2 and so on)
- Behavioural – purchasing patterns and habits
- Profiling – values, attitudes and lifestyle e.g. those who are cash rich time poor or innovators e.g. those who always want the latest gadgets etc
- Consumers versus businesses
Deciphering large lists of customers into smaller groups to determine target audiences is known as segmenting.
Ideally, your customer database should hold this information, as well as the basic data of name, address, email address, tel number etc. Having a detailed and accurate database is very helpful in tracking order history, noting patterns of peak trade, noticing success of promotions or mailings and for pulling off data to allow you to send personalised and appropriate marketing campaigns.
Suggestions for marketing campaigns could be newsletters, direct mail flyers or postcards, emails, branding merchandise, labels, templates and so on. Personalise where you can with key information. This has two benefits, firstly it shows you have understood and valued the customer and their needs and secondly, the customer is more likely to open an email or letter if it says Dear Mr U Important as opposed to Dear customer.
Look after your customers. We are nothing without them! Whether the customer is new or existing, they are all important and valuable. Once you know you are trying to talk to, you can then determine where to find them and what to say