The first step to creating an effective marketing strategy is to get to know your customer. You can do this by creating an ideal customer profile. Since your ICP informs everything you do after, it’s important to make sure it’s effective and accurate. Here are the 6 most common mistakes businesses make when crafting their ICP.
Basing Your Ideal Customer Profile on Assumptions
You may know a great deal about your customers, but you need objective data from the market, not just assumptions. Your assumptions could be wrong or could be missing something vital. Once you start researching your target audience, you may encounter some surprises. There might be trends you hadn’t noticed before.
Not Being Specific
Your ideal customer profile should identify one single individual who benefits most from your products and services. This isn’t the only person who will buy from you, but the ideal person to focus your resources on trying to reach. If you try to be everything for everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one.
As you go about creating your ideal customer profile, you’ll start seeing patterns. You should take note of all these trends and include them, even if they don’t seem strictly relevant to your business. All information could be useful in crafting your marketing message and targeted advertising.
Forgetting Psychological Data
When we think of customer profiles, it’s natural to think of demographics such as age, location, and income level. But don’t forget to also include psychological factors such as core values, buying behavior, and dreams and aspirations.
In fact, this information could be even more important. You need to make an emotional connection with your target market. Your marketing should speak to their values, beliefs, and challenges. This is how you demonstrate the ways your offering can benefit them.
Creating an ICP in Departmental Silo
Yes, the marketing team will lead the company’s efforts when it comes to drawing in the ideal customer. But when you’re developing your ICP, don’t make the mistake of falling into a marketing bubble.
This happens when the marketing team takes charge of the process and doesn’t include the leadership or sales team or any other departments in the company. Sales, clinical, and anyone else who regularly interacts with customers (patients) will have valuable insights to add to this process.
Members from other team likely notice things that you may have overlooked. Of course, anything you include should be backed up with data but always be willing to consider outside opinions.
And alignment across departments will ensure that you’re not creating a disjointed marketing strategy that will lead to wasted time and money.
Failing to Gather Indirect Data
Reaching out to customers and holding focus groups are excellent ways to get data from your target audience. But don’t forget to also obtain indirect data. People won’t always tell you what you need to know if you ask them. On the other hand, you can listen to their conversations and watch their behavior to learn even more about them.
You can learn what they search for online by using tools such as Google Trends. You can see how often they visit your competitors’ sites or look for products and services similar to yours.
Setting It and Forgetting It
Once you have a strong ideal customer profile based on objective data from your market, you’re ready to get started offering your products and services to them. But your ideal customer (client/patient) is not something you can simple set once and then forget about.
You’ll have to revise your ICP occasionally due to changes in the market or your customers’ tastes. When you launch a new product or service, you’ll have to adjust accordingly. It’s also helpful to brush up your ICP from time to time with new information from the market. Keep in steady touch with your customers (client/patient) so you can keep your ideal customer profile and marketing strategy up to date.
Crafting a successful marketing strategy starts with knowing your customer. And the more you know about them, the better chance of success for your business. To avoid making these mistakes yourself--and save time.
By having a clear picture of your best customers, you'll be able to target them more effectively and you're more likely to have them walking in door.