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Finding Your Target Customer: Top Tips of the Year

Posted by Jenny Sutton on November 20, 2018 at 11:06 AM

finding target customerYou don't want to reach just any customer. You want to build relationships with the people who will become brand loyalists because your products or services suit them perfectly. You can find your target customer by honing in on the ideal customer pool.

We do this by carefully creating a targeting strategy that focuses on an enjoyable customer experience, getting a well-timed message to the locations where your ideal customers are spending time and sending gentle reminders about your business to the websites they frequent. Sounds good? Let's dig in. 

Focus on the Customer Experience

Shift your mindset away from the benefits of choosing your company and instead focus on your potential customer's level of enjoyment when engaging with your brand. You've likely heard the terms customer experience or user experience (UX) often over the past year, as the competition for a potential buyer's attention grows daily as new messaging and communication options pop up. To stand out, explore personalization via data.

Leverage engagement metrics to understand your customer's behaviors and desires. What motivated them specifically to buy? When do they finally click that purchase button? And where are they predominantly browsing? On mobile? On social media? Meet them where they are to get the most eyes on your content. Are they typing "live chat" in your business website's search bar? Consider adding that personal communication option to keep them engaged. Listen to those who are drawn to your brand naturally.

What can their journey across your platforms and assets tell you about the experience they want to have with your brand? It's all about context. Your ads will provide a more pleasant customer experience when they're placed near content that matches the themes or topics that interest the customer.

For example, if your target customer is watching a YouTube video review of the latest running shoe, and you run a sneaker wholesale business that offers deep discounts, you're more likely to win over that viewer. If your sneaker business runs an ad preceding a piano tutorial, the viewers of that content aren't as likely to be interested in shoes at that moment.

Timing Is Everything in Messaging

Once you've figured out where your ideal customers might be lingering, consider timing your messaging to flow with their potential needs and buying cycle. Much like meshing your ad with related content, the ad also needs to be presented at the right time.

Dayparting is the concept of scheduling ads to publish on the most effective day of the week, when the most viewers are present on a channel or during the least costly time to run an ad. This strategy can help you harness the attention of viewers who have a genuine interest in your business. It's the opposite of casting a wide net. Instead, you're razor-focused on warm leads.

Remember hearing how advertisers would pay a premium to be aired during primetime when families were watching television or on Super Bowl weekend when everyone was glued to the screen? A similar approach is used online based on viewership numbers and trends. Here's an in-depth guide on dayparting that digs deeper into finding the optimal times to publish ads, testing your findings and creating pinpointed campaigns that align with your target customer.

Using GPS to Locate Customers

Let's add one final layer of personalization to your next campaign. Thanks to the overwhelming popularity and prevalence of GPS-enabled smart devices, companies can track when their potential customers might be near a brick-and-mortar location and entice them in the door with a limited-time offer.

It's no coincidence when the taco shop around the corner from the office sends you coupons at noon. You're local and probably thinking about lunch. And they might even know that you posted about #TacoTuesday using the popular hashtag on your social media, making you a prime customer who can't say no to chips and queso.

GPS technology also helps rule out unlikely customers. A scuba diving school doesn't need to waste any ad spend targeting people who live hundreds of miles from the ocean. Instead, they can personalize their campaign to only reach people within an hour drive or so of the scuba school, since they're more likely to be looking for beach-friendly weekend activities. 

Known as location targeting, this approach helps widen your ideal customer base, boosts online engagement and helps you learn even more about your customers' needs and interests, according to Lawless Research. Let's think back to the taco shop. If their targeted audience often searches for churros on their mobile ordering app, and they don't offer churros, it might be wise to update the menu with the sweet treat since their local audience wants it.

Staying Top of Mind

By this point, you've narrowed in on your target customer. You know about the topics that interest them, when they're online and where they hang out. You've also followed their buyer's journey via analytics and data.

Sometimes they buy from you. Other times, they maneuver away from your site leaving their shopping cart full. With so many distractions in our always-on world, it's not uncommon for a potential customer to get pulled away from the check-out process. That's why we have retargeting. 

Once you've identified that ideal customer, and they're interacting with your ads, platforms and social feeds, you want to keep your business on the tip of their tongue. With the customer-tracking magic of third-party cookies, browser plugins and IP addresses fueling a retargeting effort, you can serve up a personalized ad featuring the items left in their shopping cart as a gentle reminder to complete their purchase. Don't forget to finish buying those new running shoes! Are you still craving tacos? Book that weekend getaway now and we'll give you 20 percent off a scuba class!

One-size-fits-all marketing campaigns are outdated and marginally successful when weighed against a data-driven, strategic approach that identifies your target audience. As your business grows, make your messaging personal. Learn more about this topic in our free e-book, How to Target Your Ideal Customer Online, then reach out to the Local Solutions team with your questions and ideas. We'd love to be part of your next successful marketing campaign!

Related Articles 

Making Customer Experience a Cornerstone of Your Marketing Strategy

Dayparting: Reaching the Right Audience at the Right Time

What Is Retargeting? How Does It Improve Your SEO and SEM Strategy?

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Topics: Integrated Marketing

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