6 Principles of Marketing - No. 2 PC

No, not Personal Computer - PC in this context stands for 'Perfect Customer'.

Is there such a thing as the perfect customer? Whether there is or not, the exercise of working out what a perfect customer looks like for your business is incredibly helpful in marketing and promotion strategy planning.

An added benefit is that it can help you focus the mind on which media outlets to target from a media coverage and PR point of view, if publicity is a component of your marketing plan (which it should be!)

How you decide who your perfect customer is, is up to you. If you have access to sales data and related customer profiles, from customer surveys for example, or information you gather from customers at point of sale, then you don't have to do much imagining – just look at the data, and the beginnings of a profile of your perfect customer/client will emerge.

A perfect customer will be one who...

  • appreciates and values your product/service

  • is likely a repeat customer

  • you can service at a good profit margin

  • pays your bills promptly

But to really use the technique to best effect you have to drill down beyond simple demographics. You need to ask the following sorts of questions:

How old is my perfect customer?
What gender?
What car do they drive?
What are their hobbies?
What books do they read?
What newspapers do they buy?
What TV programs do they watch?
What internet sites do they visit?
Do they network for business? If so, where?

This is not an exhaustive list, and will vary depending on whether you are targeting consumers or businesses, and within businesses whether you are targeting owners or employees.

Unless you have an incredibly detailed customer survey form, you're unlikely to know the answers to all these questions! But it's important to at least go through the process of working out what the answers might be. This exercise can help you work out where your perfect customers of the future are likely to hang out - probably in all the same places your current perfect customers do!

Once you have a set of answers, you are on the way to knowing how to communicate with your perfect customer and how to influence their buying decisions. This will filter down to where your advertising dollar is best spent, who to write for in your marketing materials and content, and even which media outlets to pitch stories to.

Did you know...
When Apple were working through the marketing plan for the very first iPhone they were incredibly specific about who they wanted as their customers - thirty-ish males predominantly working in tech and keen adopters of new devices. All of their marketing was conceived and written with these people in mind. If you didn't fit the profile and still bought an iPhone, it was a bonus for Apple!

Next time... LCV.

David Bateson