A wise marketer will maximize the return on the investment of their time and money by targeting ideal customers who are the best fit for their business.
We call this type of customer the “Target Ideal Customer” (TIC).
Ideal customers bring more value
The most ideal customer is one that brings the most value to your business — the most profit, positive word-of-mouth, support, referrals, repeat business, etc.
In other words, for every dollar and every hour you spend on marketing, this type of customer will result in the biggest possible gain for your business — not just in terms of immediate income but also in terms of helping you achieve your overall business goals.
Having a Target Ideal Customer that you direct your marketing to does not mean you only do business with that type of customer.
The purpose isn’t to exclude people from doing business with you.
Rather, it’s a way to focus marketing dollars and efforts so that your investment attracts the most ideal customers.
Find your target ideal customer
There are two important questions you can ask to help you find your Target Ideal Customer:
Who finds the most value in your product or service?
1. Who is most willing and able to invest their time and money into using your product/service?
2. Your Target Ideal Customer lies somewhere in the intersection of those two groups of people.
If you are an established business, one of the best ways to research this is to go through your own sales records. Examine your best past customers and look for any useful demographic patterns you can isolate.
What age group do they tend to be?
Are they predominantly male or female?
What does their financial situation seem to be (wealthy? low-income? somewhere in the middle?)
Do they come from any specific geographic areas (nationwide? local? a specific part of town?)
What other aspects of their lives do they seem to have in common (do they have similar interests/hobbies? have children? work in similar professions? enjoy similar entertainment? have similar political leanings? have similar values and beliefs? etc.)
Research customers of other businesses
If you don’t have many past customers, you can still do this research.
Simply find another business that offers similar products and services to your own and inspect their customers.
For example, if you are opening up a new pet store and don’t have customers yet, you can visit other stores that sell pets and pet supplies.
Walk in to these other stores and observe the people shopping there.
Listen to what people are talking about when they shop there. What are they interested in? Are they saying any negative things about the store and its products? What positive things do you hear them saying?
Take notes about the demographics of these people (age? gender? can you estimate their income level and their professions based on how they’re dressed? etc.).
Then get on your computer and read the online reviews for these stores. See what people are saying — and then click through to the online profiles of these commenters to learn more about precisely who they are.
Also visit the social media sites of these other stores and read the comments customers have posted there. Then look at the profiles of the people who posted those comments to discover more about who they are.
In other words, be a bit of a detective and find ways to discover what type of people are most interested in the products and services you offer and what type of people are most likely to purchase these.
After you gather all this research, you can then throw together a dossier of who your Target Ideal Customer is.
Then, focus your marketing efforts on connecting with that particular Target Ideal Customer and persuading them to do business with you.