As a business, you would be nowhere without customers. They are your lifeblood. It is curious then that so many businesses ignore one of the most important aspects of marketing; knowing who your customer actually is. Building an ideal customer profile is a fundamental step in the marketing process. It informs what you write, the materials you use and where you will put them. It really is the guiding light that needs to be considered along every step of your marketing journey. Without it, you are completely in the dark as to who you are talking to. You are making things unnecessarily difficult for yourself.

Taking time out to consider who you are talking to will reward you tenfold. One of the best ways to do this is to construct a fictitious ideal customer profile, give them a name, a family and a place to live. Make them feel real. You can then consider this person every time you write a piece of marketing. It is important that when you are constructing these personas that you build a very detailed view of their personalities and characteristics. In order to help you construct your ideal customer profile, we have gathered four very simple guiding questions to get you started.

Who Are They?

This first step seems an obvious one, however, it is more complex than it first suggests. There are so many different characteristics that you can consider. You could consider age, profession, gender, income, interests, hobbies, likes or dislikes. The list is almost endless. Here are a number of things to consider when building your complete personas:

  • Demographics: Age, gender, income etc.
  • Psychological: Their personality type, preferences.
  • Behaviour: interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes.

By considering these different aspects of your ideal customer, you can build a well rounded and fully realised persona to guide your marketing. You can make them feel like a real person. This level of detail will allow you to know and understand your customers better.

What Do They Want?

Once you know who they are, you must then define what it is exactly that they want. This is the chance to build upon what you already have and really identify what problem they have that you are looking to solve. Perhaps they need help making more sales or a better solution for their waste or faster way to talk with their families on the other side of the world?

Whatever the problem is, take the time to identify the real “pain points” for them. By doing this you can help define the emotional language to use in your marketing material. Helping it resonate on a deeper level with your customer.

Where are they?

Once you have constructed this ideal customer profile and identified their challenges, it is incredibly important to then identify where they are. This may be a physical space or an online one. This is a vital step in the process because if you don’t know where they spend their free time, where they work or how they travel, how can you put your messages in the right place? Do they spend most of their time on social media or do they read a lot of newspapers?

This research allows you to then understand where exactly you should be putting your messages. A well-constructed piece of marketing, that hits all of someone’s pain points is absolutely no use if they can’t see it. So, make sure you know where they are, so you can get your great materials seen.

How do they talk?

This final question to ask yourself is rarely done. However, this is a critical step. How do they talk? What language do they use within their personal circles? Knowing the language they use can help you refine your message to talk in “their language.” Speaking with teenagers is not going to be successful if you are using terms that highly successful people in their fifties use.

This is also a time to consider the cultural references for different target markets. Using nostalgic music or images can work well for certain audiences whereas references to popular culture will appeal to others. Get your language and materials to chime with your personas and your message will really resonate with your audience.

When constructing any marketing material it is essential to know who you are targeting. The benefit of taking the time to construct a well thought out ideal customer profile cannot be underestimated. It will inform the materials you use, the language you adopt and where you place the marketing. All this builds up to give you a much better chance of attracting the customers that will be more likely to buy your product. So, take the time to create a profile that feels real, give them a name, a car, a house or a family. Some people even give them photos and a full backstory. Whatever you do, get creative and make them feel real. The more they feel like a human, the easier it will be for you to create pieces of marketing that resonate with your audience.

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