Ideal Customer: How to Attract the Best Customers

Ideal customer profile.

by on July 18, 2011

Can your marketing and sales staff describe your ideal customer?

I posed this question during a Silicon Valley networking event to the owner of a start-up company that develops mobile applications. He eagerly and concisely replied by describing two ideal customers. I asked the same question of attendees at other events, but they did not answer it as well.

Can your product or service sell itself? Of course, it seems a dream, but if you aim your messages at an ideal customer, it might start to feel like it.

If you are entering a new market, planning a new product launch, or beginning a social media campaign, then make sure that your investment reaps dividends.

Aim the Message

A well aimed message is achieved by developing a persona, sometimes called a pen portrait, of your ideal customer for each product or service – it is a simple, clear, and powerful tool for your organization.

According to Chris Garrett, author of ProBlogger:

Before writing anything, an article, an advert, an email, you need to know who you are writing for and cater to their specific needs. To create this pen portrait you simply have to imagine who they are, what they are like and what drives them.

Not only is it useful for writing marketing messages, but it will guide your product or service decisions and help you make better tactical decisions and weigh tradeoffs.

Ideal Customer Profile

If you sell car accessories to women, what characteristics and motivations define your ideal customer? Be sure to focus on your most profitable ideal customer for each product or product group.

Identify Your Ideal Customer

You can start by identifying your most profitable customer, an avid fan of your product or service. The 80/20 rule usually applies, where 80% of revenues come from 20% of customers, so your ideal customer should be selected from your most profitable customers, and be one that embodies the most characteristics of an ideal customer.

According to Wikipedia about persona:

In most cases, personas are synthesized from data collected from interviews with users. They are captured in 1–2 page descriptions that include behavior patterns, goals, skills, attitudes, and environment, with a few fictional personal details to make the persona a realistic character.

The best information for developing your ideal customer comes from observing customers and asking them open ended questions. Additional perspectives come from your marketing, sales and customer support staff, as well as website forums, customer feedback forms and paper or online surveys.

An ideal customer persona can be described in a paragraph(s) or a list of bullets, and should be specific. The more realistic your description, the more effective it becomes, and it will strengthen as information is added.

Describe Your Ideal Customer

  1. Geographics: Where does your ideal customer work and reside, and what situations and environments does that evoke?
  2. Demographics: What are the demographic characteristics of your ideal customer? This information can be gathered from your marketing, sales and customer service team, including items such as age, gender, family size, income, occupation, marital status and education.
  3. Psycho-graphics: What are the motivations, dreams, goals and pain that your ideal customer experiences? These insights will often set a tone and voice for your print and online communications, and should consider such factors as social class, attitudes, lifestyle and personality traits.

After initial attempts, think deeper and add more attributes within these 3 categories. Next, focus again on dreams and pains since they are powerful motivators. If ideas come slowly, think about who your customer is not, then reverse these ideas into who they are.

Did you identify about 50 elements? You know your ideal customer.

Finally, strengthen your ideal customer description by attaching a name and image. This will polish the persona into a vivid person that is memorable and easy to bring into your staff’s conversations and end products. An ideal customer persona is powerful, because it is simple, memorable and clear.

What do you find useful for identifying or describing your best customer profile?

Leave a Comment

Next post: