Do you know your customer types? Sive O'Brien lists 4 ways to determine your top customers. 

As a business owner, no matter how big or small the brand, your focus is on delivering the best product and service you can offer, and on the prospective customer who buys it. And while the emphasis on your offering is key, the true core focus of your business should be on your ability to find that ideal customer, sell to them, and satisfy them enough, so they return for a repeat purchase. 

But ask yourself, do you really know who your customer is? You might think you know, you might have an ideal customer in mind, the type of person you want to buy your product or service, but are they truly your customer? One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is believing they are the ideal customer. This might be a great place to start, but you can't build a successful business or grow your brand based on your likes and dislikes.

Learning more about your customers' likes and dislikes is an obvious path to business success. And learning how to divide these customers into groups so you can segment your audience and tailor your messaging to each customer type makes all the difference. Because when it comes to marketing your business, one size does not fit all. Delivering the right content to the right people at the right time is your path to success. Get started with these 3 easy steps to learn more about your customer:

1. Define your customer 

Gather all the insight you can on who your customers are. Start by chatting directly to the customer, chat to staff about customer experiences, conduct customer surveys, even interviews, and learn when and how they buy your product or service. If your business is online, connect your website to Google Analytics, and it will pull customer demographics, interests and buying behaviour on your website. If you’re active on social media, use the free business insights tools to gain more insights into who is reading and reacting to your posts, when they are on social media and what they love the most about your posts. 

2 Define your product from the customer's point of view 

Grab a notebook, jot down how you think your customer views your business. Think about your product or service from where they stand. - What problems does it solve for the customer? - Does it satisfy their needs? - How can it improve their life? - Do they really need it in their lives? - How do they go about making the purchase decision for your product or service?

3. Learn about their personality 

In marketing-speak, they’re called Buyer Personas - like giving each of your customers a little personality. Think of them as fictional characters. This will allow you to visualise each ideal customer, and once you've worked out what makes them tick, you'll start to understand their paths to purchase. Write out a list of things that fit the bill for each of your customers: Who:  Background - job, career, family. Demographics - Male/female, age, location. Identifiers - demeanour, communication preferences (social media channels, Netflix choices, brands they would like, etc.). What:  Goals - their primary goals for choosing a brand like yours. Challenges - what obstacles are in their way. What can you do - help them achieve their goals and overcome their challenges.

4. Determine how you're going to help them 

Think about how your brand can resolve their problems and how would their lives be richer buying from you.Why:  Quotes - get some real or use fictional quotes from this customer about why they would need your product or service.  Objections - describe the reasons why they wouldn't buy from your brand. How:  Marketing messaging - now, in detail, describe the solution you are offering for this customer

Then Sell...

Write out a sales pitch, how you would sell your brand to them, taking all of the previous answers into account. By defining and determining the very best customer for your business using these guidelines, you'll define what sets you apart in your customer's mind. And by understanding how to find more of these perfect customers, you'll be better able to communicate with existing and prospective customers in the future.

Once you've gone through these steps for each customer group, a great way to remember each customer type is to give them each a name that fits their personality. Your next challenge is to determine how to communicate your brand message to them. Your brand messages needs to be delivered at each stage of each of your custom types' buying cycle – from becoming aware of your brand to considering buying from you, to the all-important purchasing stage. Do this, and you will build a business that both you and your customers love.

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