Refining Your Target Customer


Helping an entrepreneur and his/her team capitalize on years of hard work via a successful exit is what makes my job rewarding. A big “Congratulations!” is in order for the team at Clockwise.MD. It has been a privilege working with you all and I know you will continue to kill it going forward.

And now to the newsletter…

Topic of the Week: Refining Your Target Market

I have a confession. I’ve never bought shampoo in my life.

Are you grossed out? Skeptical? Wondering why I’m talking about shampoo? I’m telling the truth. I have never bought shampoo.

However, I have purchased products that volumize while cleaning my hair. I’ve used products that strengthen my hair. I’ve even purchased products that turn my hair purple (don’t ask). I didn’t buy shampoo though. I bought solutions that were specifically created, packaged and marketed for my needs at the time.

The CPG companies selling these products understood who I was, my needs and what would compel me to buy.  It worked.

As professionals, we can and should leverage the same tactics CPG companies use to market our services and solutions. To do this effectively, we first need to understand who our target customers are.

Many of us offer services or solutions that have broad applicability. While it’s tempting to on-board any customer willing to write a check, not all customers are created equal. We can waste a lot of time and resources chasing customers that aren’t our target market.

Take ROND as an example. As a private equity firm with a moderate risk profile, it does me no good to have LPs who want to invest in the next Facebook. Even if I succeed in getting top notch returns, those LPs won’t be satisfied.

By refining who your target customers are and dedicating more resources to those customers, you will have happier customers that are more valuable.   In short, Stop selling shampoo to the masses and start selling solutions to your target customers.

Who is Your Target Customer?

If you can’t quickly answer that question, you have some work to do.  You probably already have a mental list of all the potential types of customers you could serve. Take that broad list and narrow it down to your target customer. Start by answering these four questions.

1) Who has the most to gain by purchasing my offering?

2) Who has the biggest and most immediate pain point without my offering?

3) Who has the greatest ability to pay?

4) Who will buy the most from me?

Customer Personas

Customer personas are not fluffy marketing nonsense.  They are a valuable selling tool.  Who is your target customer? What are their needs and wants? What are their priorities? What are they doing today to solve their needs? Who is the decision maker?

Being able to answer questions like these helps you create a target customer persona, which allows you to further refine your target market and begin to craft an effective sales and marketing strategy.

Once you have your customer segmentation and personas nailed down the next step is getting in front of these folks. I’ll save that for a future newsletter.

Additional Resources

Short and simple, but full of helpful tidbits.

For a good primer on creating customer personas

For a high-level resource that not only gives an overview of getting started with buyer personas but also helps you apply those personas to the customer lifecycle.

Lastly, because WikiHow is always good for a laugh with their corresponding images. #2, spying on your customers with binoculars is my personal favorite.

ROND Community Section

When you provide feedback, please let me know if you want a link included to your linkedin or company website. I would love to pay you back for offering up feedback.

Now to the question of the week:

Have you gone through the exercise of refining your target customer?

About the author

Danielle O'Rourke

Recovering Investor. Mom. Wife.

By Danielle O'Rourke

Danielle O'Rourke

Recovering Investor. Mom. Wife.

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