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How to find your target customer?

Other than asking people who are already in the business how do you find your target customer? - by Thomas
Other than asking people who are already in the business how do you find your target customer?
Market research is the only thing I can think of. Anyone else? - by Gilbert
I agree with Gilbert. Market research is the best you can do, but also try to survey/talk with your current audience and find out where other people like them are. You'll be surprised! - by ginac84
Market research is the best way to figure that out. Ask some questions, talk to people, you will figure it out. - by JulieR
Other than asking people who are already in the business how do you find your target customer?
One of the best sources I have ever seen on helping you identify your target market is

Duct Tape Marketing:The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide
- by John Jantsch

Paul Rushing
912-266-1629 - by PaulRushing
Other than asking people who are already in the business how do you find your target customer?
I've stopped targetting customers. Keep an open mind and treat people the same otherwise you potentially will miss customers because you didn't 'notice' them in your stereotyping. - by MrCharisma
A very broad question that I don't think can be adequately explained in a few paragraphs especially as this varies between products, markets and channels. Market research as others have said is important but I think that you will learn more about your own products that you will about the profile of your ideal customer.

In line with what MrCharisma says, profiling a customer can potentially exclude a percentage of the market that you may be entitled to. What you consider to be a selling point in your product doesn't necessarily mean that your customer thinks so do. In fact, in some cases customers will buy from you because they see a selling point that you haven't identified. Market research can help in identifying all or some of the different factors that may result in buying decisions being made but I think that narrowing your customer targets too much will result in unnecessary exclusion.

Know yourself, your product and explore a prosects issues and see where it goes. - by nesh thompson
One of the best sources I have ever seen on helping you identify your target market is

Duct Tape Marketing:The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide
- by John Jantsch
Paul does the book break it down for people who aren't marketing pros?

I've stopped targetting customers. Keep an open mind and treat people the same otherwise you potentially will miss customers because you didn't 'notice' them in your stereotyping.
How would you know who to market to? :dun

In line with what MrCharisma says, profiling a customer can potentially exclude a percentage of the market that you may be entitled to. What you consider to be a selling point in your product doesn't necessarily mean that your customer thinks so do. In fact, in some cases customers will buy from you because they see a selling point that you haven't identified. Market research can help in identifying all or some of the different factors that may result in buying decisions being made but I think that narrowing your customer targets too much will result in unnecessary exclusion.
Shouldn't all marketing be directed by an ideal customer profile? - by Thomas
Shouldn't all marketing be directed by an ideal customer profile?
Absolutely. However, will you turn away a sale because your customer doesn't fit into a demographic?

From the sales point of view, the ideal customer profile is "anyone who needs my product, and has the funds to buy it" - marketing is the means to focus on the greatest probability of finding those people... but marketing won't always bring the right opportunities and there will always be people outside the ideal customer profile who want to buy your products. - by nesh thompson
From the sales point of view, the ideal customer profile is "anyone who needs my product, and has the funds to buy it" - marketing is the means to focus on the greatest probability of finding those people... but marketing won't always bring the right opportunities and there will always be people outside the ideal customer profile who want to buy your products.
I don't think you should turn away buyers just because they don't meet your ideal customer profile unless they are going to take up too many resources. I also don't think that sales and marketing should have different views on what the company's ideal customer profile is but I'm not a marketing pro. - by Thomas
I don't think you should turn away buyers just because they don't meet your ideal customer profile unless they are going to take up too many resources. I also don't think that sales and marketing should have different views on what the company's ideal customer profile is but I'm not a marketing pro.
I couldn't agree more. One of the main problems we have is that marketing and sales are viewed as seperate entities. In most sales & marketing focused organisations and bodies, a lot of focus is given to marketing with little mention of sales. Why is this? Can marketing exist without sales? Are they not meant to mutually benefit each other in achieving goals? - by nesh thompson
Other than asking people who are already in the business how do you find your target customer?
Hi Thomas

First off I would identify that person myself. That might sound strange. It isn't all the leading brands across the world identify their ideal customer first. When you do that it makes life easier.

Then you know what their motivations are. What will switch them on and off.

Think about your current best customers.

What are their characteristics, hot buttons, likes dislikes.

Talk to them survey them.

Hey buy them lunch and ask them what is importamt.

In other words do your research first.

Then with a clear picture you will be able to target real customers that you can influence and sell to.

O