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08/12/2016

Know your clients: Step 4 for developing an effective marketing strategy

It may seem obvious, but you can’t create an effective marketing strategy if you don’t know who you are trying to reach – yet all too many companies do exactly that.  Taking time to develop a real understanding of your ideal clients is vital for developing a marketing strategy that is going to deliver real ROI for your business.

So how do you go about working out who your ideal clients are – who it is that you want to reach with your marketing activities?

1)  Identify your existing clients and followers

Analysing your existing (and past) clients is a great place to start; these are people you know are in the market for your services and who like what you offer, so make a list of all the people you have done work for/sold to over the past couple of years.  Extend this to include your social media followers; they may not be clients, but they have an interest in what you are offering and are already tuning into your marketing.

The characteristics you need to identify depend upon whether you are consumer or business facing:

B2C: Age, gender, income, occupation, location, marital status, interests…
B2B: Sector, company size, turnover, location, values, ambitions…

Working out the common ground of your clients and followers will help you establish who you are already appealing to.

2)  Identify your A-list clients

Rank all your past and existing clients from A to E, A being the ones you love working with and E being the ones you wouldn’t be sorry to see the back of. 

Factors that might make someone an ‘A’ client might include:

  • You enjoy the calibre of the work you do for them
  • They’re fun to work with
  • They understand the value of your offering
  • They pay punctually

You may have someone you love working with but whom you have to chase for payment every time – they’re probably not an ‘A’ client!

You may also realise that none of your existing clients actually make it onto you’re a list; if this is the case, understand what makes them a B-lister and what would need to change to move them onto your A list?

3)  Identify the characteristics of your A-list clients

Start off with their socio-demographics:

  • Are they predominantly men or women?
  • Do they fall into a particular age category?
  • Are they in a broad range of sectors or do they fall within key sectors?
  • What education do they have?
  • What’s their income?
  • What’s their house like?
  • What family have they got?
  • What do they spend their money on?

Now go one step further and think about what they are like as people:

  • What motivates them?
  • What are their values?
  • What are their ambitions?
  • How do they measure success?
  • What are their wider interests?
  • How would you describe their personalities?
  • What impact do they make when they walk into a room?
  • What role would they play in a round-table discussion? Would they want to take control, would they be a facilitator or would they be an observer?

4)  Develop your ideal client avatar

Having done all of the above, you’re now ready to develop your ideal client avatar.  Paint a picture with this: you need to create a three-dimensional image that would enable any of your team to know when they’re in the presence of one of your A-listers – and also why someone else doesn’t tick all the boxes.

Take your time over this.  You need to know your ideal client completely, to the extent that everyone in your organisation can visualise them as if there were standing immediately in front of them:

  • How do they dress?
  • How firm is their handshake?
  • How much eye contact do they make?

Once you know exactly who you want to reach with your marketing, developing an effective strategy becomes so much simpler. 

To discuss how Sharp Minds Communications can help with your marketing,
email communications@sharpminds.agency
 
Want to know more? Read the rest of our series on developing an effective marketing strategy:
Step 1: Set your goals
Step 2: Set your budget
Step 3: Know your competition

PS: If you want to know who our ideal clients are, it’s all in the picture at the top of this post!  They’re the uncut diamonds.

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