What is your ideal customer? This is a FOUNDATIONAL question for your marketing strategy. Ideal customer, ideal client, regular patron, frequent shopper, whatever you call them, they are vital to your success as a business. In a recent meeting, I described the ideal customer as not necessarily someone you want buying your product, but rather someone that already is buying it. This customer is easy to work with, probably one of your favorites to walk in your store, likely, you could even see yourself as their friend.

My favorite Simon Sinek quote is, “The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”

So, what do you believe? When determining the ideal customer for a client, this is the first step. Before social media took hold of the world, a lot of advertising was based on demographic: age, race, sex, or even location. But now, as we have mobile devices in our pockets and purses that follow us everywhere we go, listen to our every conversation, analyze our search history and even relationships with others, successful advertising must focus more on the psychographic: attitudes, aspirations, beliefs, what makes them who they are. To make things a little less complicated, demographics focus on who the customer is whereas the psychographics focus on why they buy. 

With the psychographic leading the way, the path of discovering your ideal customer is fairly simple. Take a look a those customers that are easy to work with, that are already buying what you’re selling, and think about their lifestyle. While this process is made even easier by the lovely algorithms on your favorite social media platforms, this specific kind of targeted marketing can be done by answering these questions below:

  • What do they do for fun?
  • What do their relationships look like?
  • What, in life, do they value/prioritize? (ex. family, fitness, spiritual beliefs, work, health, time, etc.)
  • What do they find fulfillment in?
  • What are their dreams/goals, either personally or professionally?

While I’m sure there are more ways to identify your ideal customer, creating a profile that gives you a deeper understanding of the type of person, aka audience, you are marketing toward, will help you to stay consistent in your strategy. Not only will this ideal customer be easier to work with, but they are already 20% more likely to buy from you, simply because they are who they are. And, when the time comes to invest in paid ads on that favorite social media platform, you will know exactly who to target because you will get the greatest return on your investment.

I’ll leave you with this example: Let’s say you run a housekeeping business. You have found that your ideal customer is the busy family, where parents work, children participate in sports programs, they love to travel, and spending their precious time cleaning takes away from quality time as a family. 

Your business happens to be located within the heart of a university community that is also fairly diversely populated. When the time comes to run an ad, you have the option for the ad to be presented to everyone within a 30 mile radius, or to select filters that allow you to only present the ad in front of the people that fit perfectly in your ideal customer profile.

Remember, each person to see your ad costs you money. Do you think it is wiser to advertise to everyone, or just your ideal customers (again, who are already 20% more likely to buy from you, just because of who they are)?