Every successful marketing effort has to begin with finding your ideal customer. Even the most creative messages will not lead to increased exposure or revenue if they are only seen or heard by people who do not and will not care about your brand. That’s what makes understanding your ideal customer so crucial.

How are you defining not just your target audience, but the segments that are most likely to become brand loyalists? If you need help in the process, consider the below your comprehensive checklist for understanding your ideal customer.

The Comprehensive Checklist for Understanding Your Ideal Customer

1) Where do they live?

Naturally, geographic area plays a big part in finding your best customers. The more you can narrow down their location, the better.

2) What is their age?

A simple question that, on its own, can narrow down your audience significantly.

3) What is their gender?

Similarly, this simple question can actually help significantly limit your ideal audience. Half of your customers may be male, but if 90% of your ideal customers are female, this is the audience you should pay attention to.

4) What is their ethnic background

It’s a sensitive question to ask, but one that can help you understand your ideal audience a lot better. Knowing both their heritage and racial affiliations helps you create marketing that is sensitive and appealing to them.

5) What do they do for a living?

A person’s job will tell you much about the types of topics they will be interested in. Especially if you are building a B2B brand, this is a crucial question to ask.

6) What do they do in their spare time?

Everyone has a personal life. Your audience’s interests and hobbies give you crucial information about the types of channels and messages through which you can reach them.

7) What is their education level?

College-educated members of your audience behave much differently than those with only a high school diploma. Education level enables you to glean your audience’s preferred channels, interests, and earning potential.

8) What is their social status?

Are they married or single? Living with their parents or on their own? What about kids? Answers to all of these questions should influence your messaging to your audience.

9) What is their disposable income?

Many marketers focus on income as a variable, but on it’s own, that’s an empty number – you never know how much of that paycheck is already committed. Instead, focus on the money your audience actually has available.

10) What are their values?

Every human being lives their lives defined by very specific values. They might come from their religious beliefs or political affiliations, but it’s up to you to find common values to optimize your marketing strategy.

11) What do they expect?

How does your ideal customer expect their interactions with brands to go? Are they high-touch, expecting regular follow-ups, or would they rather want to be the ones that initiate the conversation if necessary? 

12) What worries them?

Knowing what keeps your audience up at night can help significantly in understanding their motivations. Be careful about using scare tactics, but offering solutions to worries can be a powerful driver of buying decisions.

13) What are their aspirations?

Many buying decisions are aspirational at their core. What does your ideal customer hope to achieve in life, and how can your brand help them get there?

Don’t let your gut feeling drive the audience toward which you aim your marketing efforts. Instead, use the above list to make sure that the people who are exposed to your marketing are your ideal customers, the same people who are ready to become brand loyalists.

To learn more about getting to that point and developing personas to help you better understand and visualize your ideal customers, contact us.

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