How To Find The Right Customer Group To Target

28th Feb 2017

Finding the right customer group to target is an important component of marketing. This is a two step process - marketers first chart out a persona for the buyer based on their various attributes like gender, location, age, income, education and interests. Once this is done, they craft a marketing message that appeals to this specific persona. This is referred to as positioning.

Building a buyer persona

Buyer personas typically contain the most vital attributes of your customer like those mentioned earlier in this article. But according to Jeannie Walters from 360Connext, well-crafted personas go beyond just the surface level attributes that impact purchasing decisions and instead go deeper into understanding who this person is, and why they believe certain things. This provides the marketer with insights about the communities that the customer engages with, their priorities and reasons they leave a customer journey.

Some businesses may also benefit from negative personas - these are the profiles of the kind of people you do not want as customers. Again, this is not based merely on the surface level attributes, but also deeper aspects like their beliefs and political leanings.

Crafting a marketing message

Once you identify your buyer persona, the next step in the process is to find the right marketing message that appeals to this audience. This may or may not be a multi-tiered process depending on how generic your buyer persona is. If you are a company that sells a product that only caters to a niche buyer persona (owners of carpet cleaning businesses, for example), then you should only craft a marketing message for this niche group. However, if you sell a more generic product, then you may be required to craft multiple marketing messages that target each of your different niches within your buyer persona.

Shopify is a good example of how this is done. The popular eCommerce platform is targeted at all kinds of online retailers regardless of their industry. However, the company crafts its marketing message targeted at specific niches like photographers, bakers, jewelers and hundreds of such retail categories. The idea here is to craft a marketing message that uniquely talks to these different kinds of retailers. This way, the marketing message for a photographer may talk about legal primers, infringement and bandwidth management while the communication for a baker would be targeted about managing overheads and running a made-to-order cupcake business.

As you would notice, although photographers, jewelers and bakers all fall into a similar buyer persona (small business owners) that Shopify targets, they have unique customer journeys that need to be captured through separate marketing messages.

Reaching out

Once you have mapped a buyer persona and have crafted your marketing message, the next step is to reach out to these several buyer groups. One of the most effective ways of marketing to niche buying groups is through community engagement - both online and offline. This includes advertising on industry magazines, niche bulletin boards and forums, sponsoring meetups and events that target your buyers, and finally partnering with other businesses that make products for your target audience.

No matter how well you have charted your buyer persona and how targeted your marketing message is, the results still are determined by how well you reach out to your target audience. The effectiveness of your outreach ultimately depends on the effectiveness of you correctly targeting your potential clients and customers. The pointers provided in this article will help marketers arrive at the right audience to spend their marketing resource on.

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