Marketing is complex and creating a marketing plan can easily become so complicated that we become discouraged and end up not doing it at all. Much to our detriment. When things get overwhelming for me, I like to chunk them down into bite-size manageable components, put them in a sequence, and address them one by one.
Your marketing strategy is (or should be) simply put, your overall plan over time to get your offer in front of a qualified audience.
For me, a marketing strategy generally has three components:
- 1. A deep understanding of who my constituency is;
- 2. An action plan on how to get in front of them in the most effective manner;
- 3. A feedback loop that measures success and constantly fine-tunes the action.
Let’s look at the first part. Who is my constituency? These are the clients; who meet a particular combination of criteria that qualify them as a potential customer. The criteria always have to include:
a.) they have a problem they are aware of,
b.) you have the solution.
Seems obvious, but look at all the irrelevant advertising you are getting and all the marketing you receive that doesn’t speak to you.
In order to do marketing that ultimately results in you getting the most clients for your investment of time and money, you need to know all the things they have in common and really have a clear picture of who they are. Some call this the customer avatar.
Who is your ideal client?
Unfortunately, providers in the health and wellness space often think this is about who they want to work with, but this is not always the case. It’s much more about who you should work with.
So we have to look for commonalities in the customers we are seeing. Or, if you are launching a new business or service, you’ll have to do market research. The first thing to do is define which criteria we need to create a relevant customer profile. The emphasis is on the word relevant. For example, age or age range may not be relevant for the problem I solve, or my service may be specifically for those 65 years of age and up.
Some of the criteria we often want to classify are:
- Top of the list problem(s)
- Beliefs (For example: “I can’t afford to do …”)
- Fears (For example: “Who will I be if I get rid of my…”)
- Needs and desires (For example: “I have tried so many things, nothing is going to work for me”)
- Age range
- Relative location (if a brick & mortar business)
- Amount of money willing and able to invest in a solution
- If relevant things like access to health insurance
- Times typically available
The formula is that the more precise your profiling is, the more likely you are to have a high conversion rate with the lowest investment in time and money. Knowing the customer profile is also helpful in so much more ways:
- You can find out where those people congregate and specifically target those places;
- You can speak a language they will understand;
- You can develop a very precise message that speaks to them;
- Your targeted ads actually hit their target;
- You know which channels to use for advertising;
- You can establish yourself as an expert and the “go-to” person.
Since anything else is guesswork, the only way to really do it is to look at data and if you don’t have all the data (which most people don’t), actually ask them to fill you in. Take a survey, call, talk to people, look at their records – there are many ways you can approach this task. Some of the great questions to ask are:
A. WHAT PROBLEM DID/DO WE SOLVE FOR YOU?
Sometimes we see a combination of factors for example “the best chiropractor within walking distance” or “the only female massage therapist who makes house calls” or “the only clinic that was open on Saturdays”. I am always surprised when I get enough data to see patterns as to what emerges.
B. WHAT ARE THE CONSISTENT FACTORS IN THE CONSTITUENCY YOU ARE DOING THIS FOR?
Gender, location, age, income, education, race etc. – basically demographic data you might have from intake forms, your knowledge of the neighborhoods your clients come from.
C. HOW ARE YOU BETTER AND DIFFERENT?
Often your constituents have tried to solve the problem you are addressing before – without satisfaction. It is really good to know why these people chose you over another solution/provider/business. Was it the price, availability, reputation, technique, approach or the know-like-trust factor?
Once you have a list of features, you begin to see patterns and all of a sudden you see your perfect client in your mind’s eye. The one who you almost certainly can help because you are offering exactly what they are actively looking for.
Another positive side effect in researching your client avatar is that you might discover some additional services you can offer for problems your constituency has that but you never thought of solving.
The service/market fit is the most important factors in business! Since we do not have unlimited resources to get in front of people. We have to concentrate on getting in front of the right people.
Who is your ideal client?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nicolay H. Kreidler is an entrepreneur and strategic consultant in the health and wellness space who focuses on turning around distressed businesses and re-positioning them for success.