Throwing Darts At Your Ideal Clients (not literally)

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When’s the last time you were at a bar and decided to play a game of darts? Tongue out, one eye closed as you try and stick the tiny little dart into the board.

For those unfamiliar with darts, you start at 301 points and the goal is to get down to 0. Each of the triangular pieces on the dart board represent a certain score with the ability to score double or triple points weaved in. That makes the triple 20 the highest score in the game and the quickest way to get from 301 to 0. If you knew that would you ever throw darts just to hit the board? No, of course not. You would consistently aim for the center (50 points) or the triple 20.

Advertising works the same way. The goal shouldn’t be to use marketing copy that speaks to just anyone. The goal should be to target a specific group of people and get the most value per opportunity.

Now bringing this winding dart analogy full circle – imagine each dart you threw cost money, just like an advertising message does.  If you miss the board you don’t earn any money, similar to if an advertising or marketing message doesn’t attract any buyers. Your goal needs to be to earn as much revenue as possible per throw.  You have the best success of throwing for the triple 20 or the center. If you miss by a little, you still get a whole bunch of points.

Aiming at this sweet spot will get you the most return on your marketing efforts. That sweet spot is your ideal client. It is a demographic and psychographic look into your customer segments to determine who are the best to work with, most profitable, and most in need of your product or service.

There is a calculated way to determine your ideal client profile. First let’s get one concept out of the way and that is the definition of the word ideal.

The definition of ideal is something that satisfies one’s conception of what is perfect or most suitable.  Ideal only exists in your imagination – it is desirable or perfect but not necessarily likely to ever become a reality.

When you go to do this exercise yourself or if you are working with a company such as Extension Marketing to determine your ideal client please disregard any ideas about who your current best customer is. Your best customer may be a once-in-a-lifetime-type account who you can target all your marketing towards only to find out that the market segment is so small that your business won’t be able to survive with having just this type customer simply because there just isn’t enough of them out there.

Targeting your ideal customer or client will always lead to a higher return on objectives for your marketing. It also allows you to focus your marketing efforts on something very specific. Your ideal customer will have certain things that are going on in their lives or business that will influence the way that they think and make decisions. Being able to understand that and how they perceive their lives and your product or service allows you to show them specific images to aid in the decision making process.

Building your ideal customer segments.

Now, on to the process of building your ideal customer segments. The first thing that you should consider is what makes people buy from you? Is it speed? Is it quality? Is it trust? Is it price? Once you understand what people’s decision criterion is you can begin to understand their motivations (or why they need/want your service or product).

Think like a customer: What are your customers thinking about when they are looking for your product or service? Are they looking to gain? Are they looking to avoid losing something? Figuring out the motivations of your clients allows you to target people who might be feeling similar.

Understanding how they perceive barriers and success allows for a better look into the psychographics of your customers.  What is stopping someone from buying from you? What are the success factors? How are they going to judge success? Once you understand how they think – you can start to bring demographic and behavioral traits into the picture. Grouping these into visible segments allows you to see your potential customer segments – and then select which groups are going to be the most profitable for your business.

Knowing who you are talking to gives you endless targeting capabilities on platforms such as Facebook . It allows you to tailor your message to overcome client barriers, feed into motivation and bring in more customers for your company.

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