Saturday, June 28, 2008

Who is Your Customer?

Do you know who your customer is? What type of person purchases your goods or engages your services? What are their buying habits? What do they value? Answering these questions is a key component of creating a successful marketing plan for your business.

Finding the answers to these questions will help you identify the products and services you can and should be offering. It will help you to build identity and create direction for your marketing efforts. Understanding your target demographic will certainly help you create much more effective marketing based on their needs and desires.

It’s said, “It’s hard to sell to snow boots to people living on a beach.” In other words you need to find out what your client base is looking for and create products and services to fill those needs.

So, how do you get this information? First, look around. Pay attention to your surroundings. Look at the clothes being worn, the cars being driven, the houses people live in. Where do people work and socialize. What do they do for recreation? Answering these questions will help you to begin to get a snapshot of your potential client base.

From here you can dig deeper. There are number of resources to help you find median family income levels, number of residents per household, age and ethnic background. You can also find the number of children in a household and ages. Begin by looking at the website. You can also check with your local chamber of commerce, city or county government and the public library who may have this kind of data available.

This process does a couple of things for you. First, you can begin to determine if there is enough potential in your area to support your business or a specific product offering you may be considering. Next, it will help you to create marketing pieces which will attract the attention of your potential client based on their needs and interests.

Understanding your potential customer is vital to creating effective marketing and maximizing your advertising dollars. You may be able to sell snowshoes to beach combers but wouldn’t be easier to sell them suntan lotion. If you only knew!

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