Thoughtful marketing to make you stand out

Knowing and really crystallising the reason why I decided to go into business has really helped me to make some quite challenging decisions. If the opportunity supports my ‘why’, then I will consider it. If it doesn’t then I will politely decline. Do I sometimes think back and have second thoughts about a decision I have made? Absolutely, I am only human after all. But then I remember the reason why I went into business and that gets me back on track.

The same applies to you marketing. Identifying and really getting to know your dream customer, or ideal client as they are also known, will help you focus your marketing efforts and achieve your desired results.

Decisions, decisions, decisions

For example, say you are a travel company. It's summer, so I thought I'd make it topical. Clients can potentially come in all shapes and sizes. Some people prefer the travel company does everything for them, others only want the bare necessities covered. The rest of us are somewhere in between.

If you take the approach of trying to market and sell to everyone, then you are left with quite a few decisions to make. Where do you focus your resources? Which product or services do you develop and then promote the most? Or do you try to do it all?

If you are a small business, then this will be really tough.

Don’t spread yourself too thin

When it comes to the nuts and bolts of taking your products and services to market, what goals do you focus on? Which benefits of your products do you promote over others? Or do you promote them all? Where do you market your products? How do you make the decision of which channels to advertise in most? As a small business, you will only have a limited budget. If you decide to promote in as many places as possible you will probably only have enough money to do a one-hit campaign. Not a great strategy when you consider that the average customer needs to be ‘touched’ by you 10 times before they decide to buy.

Focus in

But what if you decide to focus on one customer group? Your dream customer. For arguments sake, let’s say you have identified them as families where both parents work full time in professional jobs – so time poor and cash rich - who want their holidays organised for them.

When developing your value proposition, you focus on sourcing the best deals and building solid relationships with partners that can deliver these types of holidays. You think about what it is you can offer this group that your competitors cannot. You can really position your price to deliver your dream customer the greatest value whilst bringing you the best return.

Knowing that your dream customers are busy discerning professionals with children means that you will either source high quality family resorts or work with partners to pull together a more bespoke solution.

When you take your products and services to market you can set objectives that are clearly related to this group. For example, double the number of bookings on premium tours from four person families in the next 12 months. Upsell premium tours to 25% of existing customers in the next six months.

More creativity and greater opportunities for engagement

Making decisions about what to say in your marketing and where to market will be much easier. It will also help you think more creatively. Again, knowing that your dream customers are discerning professionals with families who are time poor but cash rich, you focus on benefits such as taking away the stress of booking the holiday, a high quality experience you’ll never forget…..

When it comes to where and how you market your products and services, understanding who your dream customer is not only makes the decision-making process easier, it also can help you think creatively.

Thinking about where busy, discerning professional parents hang out on and offline will help you consider channels your competitors may not have thought of, or strategic alliances with companies that may not be an obvious fit but share your target customer.

Furthermore, as you are not trying to stretch your budget across multiple customer groups, you can develop a campaign that will help you engage your customers once you have captured their attention instead of having to settle for a one hit wonder and hope that it reaches someone who is interested and ready to buy.

Focusing on your dream customers doesn’t mean you cannot work with other types of customers. You can. It just makes the process of making decisions about your marketing so much easier. It will also get you the cut through that will bring you the results you are looking for.

This article also appears on LinkedIn

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