“My product is for everyone!” and “I’m not reaching anyone.” What do these statements have in common? The same person made both of these statements, and I’ve heard many variations. How do you market a product or service that’s useful, even life-changing, to customers who differ so much from one another? Here’s what to consider as you plan your marketing communications.
Not All Ideal Customers Are The Same
One standard marketing starter is to ask yourself, “Who is my ideal customer?” You might be surprised how much you already know about your customers’ thoughts, feelings, opinions, and behavior, especially as they relate to your product or service. This process works best when you have a specific person in mind, either real or fictitious. Along with basic personal information such as age or gender, you ponder questions like:
- I believe that my customer needs XYZ, so is this what he/she believes also?
- What challenges does my ideal customer face?
- How important are such challenges to the customer?
- What questions does he/she ask when seeking solutions?
- What does he/she want right now?
- How is he/she feeling?
- What solutions has he/she already tried?
- How successful were his/her previous solutions?
- How well does he/she trust me to provide the right solution?
- What will happen to my customer if he/she does not buy my product?
- What else is he/she buying?
- Where and how does he/she spend time?
As you answer these questions, you’ll start to imagine individual customers that differ in key ways. Do they all need the same services?
For example, I write blog posts and press releases for diverse clients. Startups and small, growing businesses ask different questions and recount different experiences from larger companies. Each company’s unique approach to their marketing and expertise will shape our conversations. Also, customers needing blog posts often don’t need press release writing and distribution services from me, and vise versa.
Connect with people in each market by addressing their unique needs and concerns. You can do this on your website, in other marketing materials, and in person. Moving beyond imagination and toward genuine conversations will help you get to know individual customers as real people.
Unified Messaging Versus Customized Marketing
With all these ideal customer profiles, it’s also important to create your main message describing what you do. Consider some basic goals or desires your product or service helps to fulfill. Some examples might be:
- Looking and feeling good
- Avoiding or eliminating pain
- Getting known
- Making money
- Saving money
- Improving habits or behaviors
Even in the midst of all this customized marketing, focus on that one key message you want all your prospects to understand. Let your customers really feel your company’s overall mission or reason for being. Meanwhile, individual webpages, blog posts, brochures, and other materials can still address different issues.
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