Identifying Your Prospective Customers

The Importance Of Identifying Your Prospective Customers

When it comes time to identify your prospective customers, you will need to develop a “customer profile” that describes specifically the nature of the people in your target market. The overall market is like a target. Your target market is the bull’s-eye. Remember, no business can be all things to all the people. You should concentrate your attention on being the best to the people in your target market.

If you cannot provide a customer profile of your target market in terms of who they are, where they live, whether they are white collar versus blue collar, what they do with their time and money, as well as their preferences for products, services, and brands, then you will not be able to tailor your marketing mix to their specific needs, interests, wants, desires, and behavioral patterns.

Big businesses and a number of small businesses try the “shotgun” approach to creating customers. They try to be or do too many different things for too many different people. They are not very successful because their marketing mixes are compromises. They try to have something for everyone rather than offer the best for a few. When a business treats the market in general terms as if everyone is alike, few people get exactly what they want. The rest of the people remain customers in search of a business. This is also true when a business tries to serve a combination of segments with a single marketing mix.

You need to use the “rifle” approach where you select a specific market segment (bull’s-eye) and offer customers exactly what they are looking for. This is the formula for creating and maintaining customers for a profit. Effective marketing boils down to using the rifle approach to create and maintain customers who are part of a specific market segment. This process is similar to how hunters go after big game. Businesses try to appeal to a group of people by offering a marketing mix that is tailored to that group’s unique interests. Successful hunters identify a certain type of animal to go after, study its unique behavioral patterns, and develop an approach to shoot it.

The distinction should be made between businesses and hunters. Businesses don’t want to kill their customers. They want them to come back time and time again. They also want customers to encourage their own friends and associates to try the businesses.