Question 8: Which customer organizations should we target first?
We started the market assessment series to take a deeper look into the best ways to analyze a new market when entering it. From market size and segmentation to competition and profit margins we discussed many crucial aspects of market assessment. In this 8th and final part, we’ll discuss the importance of understanding your ideal customer.
The 8th question, “Which customer organizations should we target first?” is all about understanding your ideal customer. Who will most benefit from what you are offering? How will you get to them? What do they value? You should create a targeted list of companies or consumer groups that you should pursue in order to best grow into the new market.
Jayson DeMers, Founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, explains on Forbes how to decode your target audience:
- Define the customer. E.g., Single males in their late 20s earning more than $80,000.
- Identify your customers’ most pressing problems and desires.
- Determine which benefits of your service/product solve their problems or fulfill their desires.
- Find out where they go to get information.
- Identify the people/entities that your customers trust.
Take some time to review how you are serving clients in your existing market. You might be able to replicate some tried and tested moves in the new market. However, also be attentive to everything that is new and un-similar in the new market compared to your existing ones.
In an article on Entrepreneur, renowned author and speaker Brian Tracy shared some tips on determining your ideal customer:
- Define your service/product from the consumer’s point of view.
- Describe the ideal customer for what you’re selling.
- Determine the precise benefits your customer is looking for in buying your service/product.
- Determine the location of your clients.
- Determine exactly when your ideal consumer purchases your service/product.
- Determine your customer’s buying strategy.
Did you notice some similarities between the two lists above? One is from a famous author and speaker who is a household name, and the other is a relatively smaller figure who operates a marketing firm. This is yet another lesson for businesses on the universal importance of understanding your customer.
When you are preparing your company to enter a new market, you simply cannot consider your preparation to be complete without getting inside your customers’ head. While this may seem elementary, the fact that you are already doing well in existing markets makes you susceptible to a little complacency.
Author, venture capitalist and philanthropist Alan Hall notes in an article on Forbes that knowing the customer in depth is a key characteristic of highly successful business leaders. How well your company performs in a new market will to be determined to a great extent by the depth of your knowledge of your customers. Entering a new market is also a good time to talk to your current market customers. Their feedback will be invaluable in helping you identify the customers that you should target first.
Fatima Mansoor is a writer at Aepiphanni, a small business operations and strategy consultancy that exists to help small business owners CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses. She is a freelance blogger, specializing in business & entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and health & fitness. Her focus is on creating compelling web content for small and medium businesses form diverse industries. She mostly writes for entrepreneurs and marketing agencies across the US, Australia and UK.
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