The main reason most businesses fail online, or anywhere for that matter…

By far, the main reason why most businesses fail online (or anywhere for that matter) is because they try to sell something which the target market doesn’t want or is not ready to buy “I couldn’t careless for your 2 for 1 deal on herbal teas if I am just a coffee drinker.”

You need to be sure you are targeting an audience which is willing and ready to buy. And the old blunt methods throwing enough mud and hoping some sticks won’t work online. In fact the opposite holds true. The aim of the game is to find the most efficient way to find your target customer. To do this you need to have a very clear understanding of exactly who is your target customer and where do they hang out.

When I hear the words… “but everyone is my target customer”, I know the business owner is set for trouble.

Marketing to everyone is marketing to no one.

This is not to say you have only one target customer. What you really have is target CUSTOMERS.

The trick is framing an offer around one type of of target customer.

Your offer is just a service or product or giveaway you’re offering.

One of my clients (Ed) is a fitness instructor and owns a couple of gyms…

At our first meeting I asked him, who was his target customer/market?

His answer was typical.

EVERYONE.

“Men and women from 15 to 65, who wanted to lose weight, build some muscle get healthier”.

Just about the entire population…right?Now I can understand Ed’s answer because his customers fall into this range. And it’s natural to want your product or service to appeal to widest market possible. Something for everyone. But what Ed really has is categories of target customers.

After digging deeper I realised Ed had 4 main types of customers

Customer Type A – Men aged 25 to 40 who want to get ripped and pack on muscle in the right places.

Customer Type B – Women aged 35 to 50 who wanted to lose excess weight and feel better about their body shape.

Customer Type C – Parents of young teenagers who wanted to send their kids to a fit club.

Customer Type D – Younger women aged 20 to 40 who wanted to maintain a fit and active lifestyle.

Ed offers were the various classes and one on one training programs as well as monthly gym memberships.

Here’s the thing…

Type A customers, the iron pumpers, don’t care about the “Step and Tone” classes. Doesn’t matter what sort of deal is on offer. Likewise Type B (35 to 50 y/o women) customers don’t care how well stocked the free weights gym is.

Ed learnt to tailor his message and customise his offer so it’s relevant to a particular target customer. As a result bookings are up, memberships are up and the cost of reaching his target audience has cut in half.

The amount of target customer types you can have will vary on your business and industry. Some may only have one. Some could have 100’s. Though in my experience it’s always better to have fewer. Go niche. Become the best at serving just a small number of customer types.

Figure out who you can help the most. Who you enjoy working with the most. Who will be the most profitable for your business. Then allocate your time, money and resources to attract more of those customers and forget about trying to please everyone. Truly knowing your customer means knowing the basics like their age, gender and location. But also their income levels, interests, hobbies, books they read, places they go, groups they are part of, websites they visit and things they search for.

Having a very clear understanding of this makes it easy to figure out where they hang out online. The result being you’ll know where to place your content so it can be seen by your potential customers rather than the masses.

Finally, researching your target market is not done through brainstorming with your staff, or asking your accountant. You need third party data. There’s lots of tools to help. Google Analytics, Google Trends, Google Adwords, Facebook Insights, Similar Web to name just a few. If you have no idea how to begin it is worth considering outsourcing this to a good freelancer or even your web designer. Having a very detailed profile of your ideal customer is a highly valuable asset and will help shape your decision making and marketing for years to come.

So you know who is your ideal customer type and where to find them. Fantastic. Now how do you convince them to hop over to your site and buy your stuff?

Well that’s what I will speak about tomorrow…matching your offer to your audience.

Be sure to stop by.

Over and out!

Gareth

P.S. Each month I allocate personal time to provide subscribers with a F.ree 30 Minute Consultation during which all my knowledge and experience of web design and digital marketing is focused on your business. You get to walk away with actionable steps which you can put to use immediately for some quick easy wins. To book a slot go to this page!