The ultimate goal of any marketing effort is to obtain more customers and maximize profit.
Unfortunately, while every business would love to accomplish this, many fail to do so, even though they provide awesome products and services!
So, if they are providing solid products and services and are pouring money into marketing, why is it that so many companies can’t seem to achieve their marketing goals?
Often, it’s because they simply don’t understand who their customer is.
Who is Your Target Customer?
When I ask customers who their customer is and if they’ve created any buyer personas, I often get the response “Yeah, anyone who is looking for…”
Sorry to break it to you, but targeting “anyone” is basically the same thing as targeting “no one.”
Now, some of my new or prospective clients have done a bit of research and actually put together a decent buyer persona. They know who their target customer is, where they live, what they do for a living, what their hobbies are, purchase behaviors, etc.
But, even with all of this great information on their customers, they seem to struggle with actually devising a marketing strategy that sends the right message to their customer.
In either case, the basic problem is the same. These companies aren’t using what they know about their target customer to create ads that grab their target customer’s (and hopefully only their target customer’s) attention.
Hooking Your Buyer Persona
I like to approach marketing to customers the same way I approach fly fishing. You need to understand what (er, who) you’re trying to hook, where they are, what they want and how to catch their eye in a way that makes your lure irresistible.
Fishing for Success
Now, I’m pretty good at fly fishing and marketing, but the first time I went fly fishing, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I went to my local fly shop and spent a lot of money on all the top equipment and the most expensive flies.
The flies looked great, I mean, if I were a fish, this is the stuff I’d be eating for sure.
Confident that I had the right flies for the job, I headed out to the river.
Thing was, I spent 12 hours out on the river that day and didn’t get a single bite. I saw everyone else out there just reeling in fish, but I couldn’t seem to catch anything.
What was the problem? I had the best flies, they were prettier and more expensive that what the other guys were using.
Needless to say, I was very frustrated.
I went home that night and started to do some research. I went back to the fly shop and talked to the professionals about my dilemma.
After all, I had the biggest and baddest flies, why didn’t I catch anything?
The response I got was, “You need to understand what the fish want.”
I was then taught about different seasonal hatches. One fly may work in May, but in June the fish won’t touch it because it’s no longer hatching.
I learned about sizes and how to match the size of the fly to what is actually out on the river. If it’s too big or too small, the fish won’t buy it.
I learned about presentation, making sure my knots are tied right, that there’s no drag in my line so the fly doesn’t move faster down the river than the current, placing the fly where the fish are located.
I quickly realized that there was so much more to catching fish than just putting out what I thought was a tasty looking fly.
After doing a lot of research about seasonal fly hatches, fly presentation, fish behaviors, what different species like to eat and where they’re located, I finally started to catch fish.
In fact, the more I learned, the more fish I caught.
Fishing for Your Target Customer
Why do I bring up my fish story? Because your target customers act in a very similar way.
If your advertising is in the wrong spot, has the wrong message or promotes something your buyer persona isn’t interested in, you’re going to end up just like I did on my first day of fly fishing—you won’t catch anything!
Pay-per-click advertising is a great way to market to your specific buyer personas. Even if you don’t have a buyer persona created for your product or service, a little keyword research can help you get this information quickly.
Once you’ve figured out who your target audience is, you need to start trying a few different spots on “the river.”
Test different platforms like Facebook and Google AdWords to figure out where your customers are typically “biting.” Then, once you know where you should be fishing, test out different bait.
Try a variety of ads, messages or unique selling propositions until you find the combination that works for your target customer.
Over time, you’ll start to get a good feel for what your target audience responds best to and which messages work best at which times. The better you get to know who your customer is, the more leads and sales you’ll reel in.
When you get right down to it, fishing and marketing success come when you know what you’re trying to catch and which bait to use.
Do it right, and you’ll have the undivided attention of your target. Do it wrong, and all you’ll have is stories about “the one that got away.”
By the way, if you’d like me to take a look at your PPC ads and give you some recommendations on ways to better lure in your target customer, let me know here or in the comments.
How do you attract and catch your target customer? Do you actively use a buyer persona to make sure that you are using the kind of ads that will appeal to your ideal audience?
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