DISCOVERING YOUR IDEAL TARGET CUSTOMER-SEGMENT
Discovering your ideal target customer-segment, where your brand can win, can be difficult. The conventional wisdom of category participants and audit services doesn’t help; they merely force you into occupying the same space as your brand’s competitors. It takes a keen insight to break away from the pack. So, how might we get there? Identify your brand’s “bull’s-eye” target customer to discover your brand’s ideal target customer-segment.
The “bull’s-eye” target sits at the center of the customer-segment most inclined to prefer and join your brand. How do we find her? Well, marketers tend to dig and scratch from copious data to identify the target customer-segment where they can win, only to come up empty-handed in a sea of sameness. That’s because we’re trying to determine where we can win from data, which is abstract.
Instead, look for who we can win to determine where we can win, for the right people sit at the heart of the ideal target customer-segment. No one best exemplifies with whom and where you can win—where your brand best fits—than your brand’s bull’s-eye target customer.
Indeed, data is important. However, it lacks the “flesh and blood” perspective needed, leaving us little understanding of who the most likely customers really are and what makes them tick. Boundaries are distorted and too abstract to give us a clear picture of who and what is best for our brand. Instead, we must get beyond the data points and see who these people are.
While the data may help us address demography, there are more ways to segment and profile the target customer than data. Data does little to help us with other essential components of understanding the segment and profiling the target customer. These additional components include the target customer’s psychographics, life-stage or patient-condition or occasion states (depending on the sector), and their current competitive product usage (or practices) and dissatisfactions.
To determine those mentioned above, we need to move from an abstraction (i.e., the data) to making our target-segment concrete. How might we do it? Identify the Bull’s-Eye Target Customer of One. This action places us at the heart of our target customer-segment and helps us understand who comprises it and what makes them tick.
The bull’s-eye target is those potential customers who believe what we believe, which is the Brand Idea. So, we start with our Brand Idea. Then we identify someone we know—a real, living, breathing person, not a compilation of statistics—who believes in and is motivated by our Brand Idea. That’s the Bull’s-Eye Target Customer of One! S/he is at the center of our target customer-segment.
When we have that individual fixed in our minds, we can efficiently and accurately address the four components of the target profile by describing her/him. This presupposes that we know people who believe what we believe.
If you don’t get out of the office and talk with prospective customers, you will have difficulty pinpointing the Bull’s-Eye Target Customer of One. So, step out of the ivory tower and meet with prospective customers.
My medical device clients typically have the best fix on their customers. Why is that? Because they are often involved in the operating theatre with surgeons and the surgical team. Additionally, they participate in congresses and meet, greet, and dialogue with current and prospective customers. They also work with Key Opinion Leaders (influential expert practitioners in the industry) and participate in Ad Boards with leading practitioners to glean insights. They even meet frequently with sales personnel to get a feel for customers. They are customer-centric.
Identifying your Bull’s-Eye Target Customer of One will help you identify your target customer-segment and better serve the customers who comprise it.
We need to know our customers so well that we can predict how they will respond to marketing stimuli. Everything we execute in marketing is stimuli; we should only provide stimuli that trigger a needed and intended behavior. Interestingly, many legendary copywriters created a narrative and posted photos of their Bull’s-Eye Target Customer of One. They pitched to that customer from the depth of their understanding to build relationships and drive sales.
Make your target customer real, not an abstraction. Choose the Bull’s-Eye Target Customer of One. In doing so, you will identify your target customer-segment, more deeply understand your prospective customer, and make everything you do in marketing better cater to addressing and satisfying her/his needs.
To make your marketing matter more, identify a customer who passionately believes your Brand Idea—the “Bull’s-Eye” Target Customer of One. Then based upon your in-depth knowledge of that single person, discover your target customer-segment, and create the target profile by addressing her/his demographics, psychographics, condition or life-stage or occasion-state (as appropriate), and their current usage and dissatisfaction with competitive products.
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Avoid Mis-Targeting Target Customers. Please read chapter 6 from my most recent book, AVOIDING CRITICAL MARKETING ERRORS: How to Go from Dumb to Smart Marketing. Learn more here: http://bdn-intl.com/avoiding-critical-marketing-errors. It will help you avoid critical marketing errors and, importantly, suggest actions you can take to make your marketing matter more.
Peace and best wishes in making your marketing and you matter even more,