Who’s Your Customer?

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Whether you’re starting a new business or growing an existing one, you need to know who is going to buy your “stuff”. (Stuff can be a product or a service. It can be something uniquely yours or something you’re selling for someone else.) Who will buy it? Who is your target customer?

As you identify who your target customer is, think about how they will benefit from what you’re selling. Is your customer a consumer or a business? (If you think it’s both, you may want to concentrate on one or the other and then branch out later because they’re 2 different customers and you’ll need different strategies to reach them.) Bottom-line… it’s critical to your success to understand who your customers are and why they would want to buy from you (and not one of the thousands of other businesses on the web).

As you start building (or tweaking) your website, understanding who your target customer is will help you to write content that reaches them. The more you understand who wants and/or needs what you’re selling, the better. It comes down to the old motto “WIIFM” (What’s in it for me?). What’s in it for your customers?

With hundreds/thousands of websites out there offering something similar to your product or service, who is going to capture that customer’s attention? Will your website even show up in the search results? When your potential customers search, will the content of your website include the words that they’re searching on? Knowing who your customers are and what’s important to them will prove invaluable to you when you’re writing content for your website and your marketing materials (that will drive traffic to your website).

As you think about your perfect/target customer, answer questions like these:

  • What’s the benefit of your product/service?
  • What problems are you solving?
  • Is it going to save them money?
  • Will it make their life easier?
  • Is it something they would love to have?

A real problem in small business is that your customers can’t really tell the difference between your “stuff” and  that of someone else. (That’s how customers end up basing their buying decision on price.) Knowing who your target customers are and understanding what would motivate them to buy is key to writing good compelling content that will convince your potential customers to buy from you.

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Published by Sherryl Perry

Welcome! If you're looking for help building an Internet presence that fits your needs and works for you, you're in the right place. I blog common sense articles about WordPress, social media and SEO. My goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs understand their core business. Together, we can develop and implement business strategies that make sense to you.

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15 Comments

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  1. Hi Sherryl. The importance of identifying target customer and target market has been stated in a very facilitative manner by you . Identifying a target market is very crucial because no one can target everyone. Many people resist defining a target customer base as they believe it might limit the business or reduce the number of potential customers but its just a misconception . Moreover I also feel that learning about the market and adjusting your business plan accordingly is also an ongoing process which should not be overlooked. Thanks for such a salutary share.

  2. The WEB is such a crowded place that it is easy for small business to fade away into non existence. So these questions you have asked will indeed help one leverage the power of the Web and target the right niche and market.

    1. Hi Dipa,
      The WEB certainly is crowded and unless we want to end up competing on price alone, we really need to differentiate ourselves in other ways. Understanding the needs and wants of our target market is fundamental to defining how our product/service fits their needs.

      Thanks for taking the time to join the discussion.

  3. Hey Sherryl

    Identifying target customer or target market is very important when we are looking to start any new business. The next step that follows is convincing that target base of the product and services through proper marketing techniques.

    1. Hi Richa,
      You brought up a great pint about convincing your target base that they need/want your product or service. The same product/service can fill different needs for different customers. So, the key is to understand our customers/clients. Thanks for taking the time to comment. (I apologize for taking so long to reply.)

  4. Knowing the customer is one of the very important things whenever you are staring any business and planning must be done by targeting the customer . And this is not only for the online marketing but also for other business as well.

    1. That is so true Ishita. The basics of marketing remain the same, starting with knowing who your customer is and why they would want to buy your product or service. We have to understand what our customers and clients need and how our product/service fills that need. Thanks for taking the time to weigh in on this.

  5. This is indeed the pre-requisites before you any businesses start producing products of services. Al the questions goes back to the business owners on how they would do it. When you find your target customers, the key will be how to convince them.
    I’m pretty impressed with my client because he knows what he is doing and he’s pretty updated to what are the new strategies in doing stuffs in social media.

    1. John, I think part of the problem goes back to the fact that some people don’t understand how to market their product or service. Some people promote the features of their product when they should be promoting the benefits of their product to potential customer. To communicate benefits successfully, you have to know who your customer is and what’s important to them. You and I may be interested in buying the same product but the benefits that resonate with you may not be the same benefits that I value.

      1. Sherryl, I agree with that too.
        The benefits of a product to each person varies, and that is challenge there – to bring out the importance of a product to a potential customer.

  6. Product differentiation is important if you are targeting specific customers online. If you don’t know how to differentiate your products and services, better think of another marketing strategy or else your business will not prosper.

    1. That’s good advice Raymund. I recently worked with a client who approached me to build a website for her but she hadn’t defined her niche. She had invested in equipment that she could use to personalize items but she had no idea who would buy her product. Initially, she was taking the approach that she would personalize t-shirts and other items for anyone. It took some time but she was able to identify a niche and is doing quite well now offering a product that is filling a need.

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