In our past blog, I Have My CD, Now What? we discussed why you need a marketing plan.
And we promised to show you how.
In this four-part series, we’ll look at various steps that are integral to planning, building, and executing a marketing plan for your business.
A few decades ago I participated in a community theatre production. Once we had our parts, our first exercise was to “get to know” our characters. We did that by creating a back story for them. In the script we found clues to why the characters were the way they were and we made up back stories to explain their current state.
At the time I wondered why we were bothering. What we wrote would never be performed or revealed in any way.
Then I realized that none of us could “be” our characters if we didn’t really know them. “Being” a character is far different from “doing” a character, as anyone who has sat through a badly performed play can attest.
It’s the same with customers. We can’t serve them, meet their needs or sell to them if we don’t really know them.
The first step to creating a marketing plan is to get to know your ideal customer.
Who is your ideal customer?
The answer is NOT “everyone”, despite being the most common answer!
In our world of infinite choices and combinations you and your product will never appeal to “everyone” so get over it!
Here are some tips for discovering your customer.
- Think about one person who was most excited about you or your product. What does he/she look like? What does she want, need, have, etc.? What does he drive? What makes her heart sing? How many children does she have or does she even have children? Does he cook? Does she travel? Does he play an instrument? What does she read?
- Think about what you can do for her. Don’t even think about what she can do for you (buy your product) before you know why she wants/needs your product. You waste your resources and risk alienating a potential future customer when you’re not sure. How will your product improve her life/health/happiness?
- Think about why. Why does your ideal customer care about you or your product? (Or, what would it take to get her to care about you and your product?) What values do you share with your customer?
This is not a comprehensive list of questions because all our customers are different. The important part is to ask questions. Make no assumptions.
You might find it helps you to draw a picture of your ideal customer or create a collage of everything your ideal customer cherishes.
Caution: if you do not complete this painting-the-picture-of-your-ideal-customer step all future steps are at your peril! It is imperative that you know the wherefores and the whys of your customers’ buying decisions if you ever hope to sell them anything. You can only accomplish this if you know them intimately.
Once you’ve arrived at honest accurate answers to this question, “Who is your ideal customer?” you’re ready for Part Two of Creating a Marketing Plan, Finding Your Ideal Customer.
S2 Seminars, Grow Exponentially – use both sides of your brain!, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, contact us today.