Know Your Customer – 5 Questions You Must be Able to Answer About Your Target Customer

Every business owner should know their target customer like they know their best friend. Best friends know more than just passing information about each other; they know their friend’s wants, needs, interests, habits, financial status, what makes them laugh, what makes them happy and what gets them excited. The same should be true for the small business owner in knowing her customer.

1. Does your target customer need your product or service, or just want it?

Some products or services fall under the category of need, some are only wanted (but not needed), and some can be both depending on the customer. Where does your product or service fall when considering your target customer? Unless you know their motivation for buying, you won’t know how to market your product or service to them.

2. Does your target customer feel comfortable paying for products or services in your price range, or do they need some convincing?

Pricing above your target customer’s comfort zone is fine, but you must know you are doing it to understand how much convincing they will require before agreeing to buy. If your target customer is used to paying $750 for a laptop, and your laptop is priced at $1,000, your customer will need to be convinced to buy yours over a competitor’s that is priced in their comfort zone. Your marketing campaign should emphasize the reasons why your customer will not regret their purchase even though it was not within their comfort zone.

3. Is your target customer a “One-and-Done” or a Repeat Buyer?

Many consumers approach purchases with the mindset that once the product or service is purchased that want or need is filled and future purchases will only occur when the need or want arises again. Other consumers approach purchases as one in an endless cycle of collecting goods and maintaining a lifestyle. Small business owners must know who they are targeting as their preferred customer. A carpet cleaning service is likely to prefer the repeat buyer type who will regularly engage their services on a monthly maintenance basis over the “one-and-done” buyer who only seeks out their services when the grape juice gets spilled. Knowing whether your target customer approaches a shoe purchase believing that once completed they will not have to look for another pair of shoes until those wear out, as opposed to the customer who is buying to add to a collection of shoes that compliment a stylish wardrobe, is essential for not only marketing purposes, but for product creation as well.

4. Is your customer brand loyal or budget conscience, or both?

A brand loyal customer will make decisions to purchase based on their connection to a brand’s image and not on price, and will continue to purchase a particular brand as long as that brand lives up to its reputation and the customer’s expectations. A budget conscience customer will look to price first and will be driven to buy based upon their perception of value within their budgetary constraints. A customer that is both budget conscience and brand loyal will first shop based upon budget, but once a brand has been found that fits within that budget, that customer will become brand loyal. Small business owners must know who their customer is and how their decision to buy will be made in order to market their goods or services to them.

5. Where will your customer first look for your product or service? Where will they actually buy it?

Knowing where your customers will first look for your product or service will help you position your brand to be noticed. Knowing where they will actually buy is crucial so that you can position your product or service in a way that assures when the customer’s decision to buy is made they choose you over your competitors. If your product is one that is researched online, but most often bought in a brick and mortar retail location, your marketing and product placement strategies will need to reflect that pattern.

If you are serious about selling your product or service to consumers, first get to know your best friend (i.e., your target customer) by answering these five questions.