I often talk about strategic marketing. When I first start the conversation many people will ask what the relevance is for their company and themselves. This is a good question and one worth taking a few minutes to talk about.
Strategic marketing is the process of identifying who your best customers are and developing strategies to clone these customers or clients. My definition of a great customer is someone who is a joy to work with, is very profitable and loves to talk with others about the service we provide. These people are worth far more than the fees that we get from them.
Ok, we all want more of these customers, how do you find them? The first step of this process is to make a demographic and psychographic profile of what your best customer looks like.
This profile is not based on things like how much revenue they produce but it is based on things such as what industry they are in, what part of town they might live in or what clubs or organizations they belong to. These “things” about a client are what we call demographic information.
You will then want to figure out what sort of person this perfect client is. Do they let you lead the engagement or do they want to be in control? Do they move towards pleasure, or do they move away from pain? Are they direct or would they rather have communications in an indirect basis? We call these types of traits psychographic information.
Once you know what you’re looking for build capacity for them in your business. I often write about working within niches. Part of working in a niche is not accepting clients unless they fit within you niche. This is especially true when working on a strategic marketing plan.
After you develop what niche you want, the next step is putting together a profile of your perfect customer from that niche. Accepting clients outside the niche is a mistake a great strategic marketer doesn’t make. After having niche discipline the next step is to only accept A clients, or allow your sales department to call on A clients. (An A client is someone who fits the description of a perfect client.)
This sounds like a great idea, how do I get started. I suggest that you start by first segmenting all your clients by profitability. Once you have ranked your most profitable to least profitable clients, take the top 20% and find what they have in common. These commonalities could be based on either demographic or psychographic information. Hopefully you will be able to use both.
The next step is to find what in common your top 20% has. As you discover the commonalities between this group, you will start building a picture of a perfect client. When this project is complete you will be able to communicate to yourself and others what your perfect client looks like. Now, you are in a position to be more strategic about your marketing programs.
I find strategic marketing an interesting Midas Principal. What are you thoughts about the idea of being more strategic in how you accept as clients in your company or firm?
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