Sorry, but You Don’t Get to Decide Who your Customers Are

When you start your business, you should be establishing important criteria like what you are going to sell, how you are going to price your products or services, and who your target customer is. You’ll likely begin your marketing campaigns as well, basing your strategy on the best information you have about your desired customers at that time.

But what if your target customer is all wrong? What if, in fact, a different customer profile responds more to your marketing and advertising campaigns, and at the register?

It’s entirely possible, and honestly, very likely.

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As a small business owner, your business is your baby. You eat, sleep, and breathe your business. You put great thought and care into all that you do for it. However, a major challenge with being the business owner who intimately knows all there is about the business is that it can be hard to separate yourself enough to make a fair assessment of how those outside of your business actually view your products or services.

So what I’m saying is that you may not be attracting the people you planned to attract, even though you feel those customers are the perfect clientele for whatever you are selling.

We see this often with our clients. Anything from “I think everyone everywhere wants and needs my product!” to “I want customers who are exactly like me in every way!“.

Unfortunately, you simply don’t get to decide who your customers are. Even if you think you’ve designed your products or services to attract a certain customer type, the market will speak for itself.

Related to this, you could also find that you receive more phone calls, email requests or in-store visits from 1 customer type, and more Facebook ads engagements and online orders from another customer type.

And that’s totally OK.

The first lesson here is this: Don’t just assume that the type of customer you always envisioned as your ideal client does in fact fit your average customer profile. You’re selling stuff, and that’s great! Don’t beat yourself up about who is buying, but rather, shift your strategy to do a better job of serving the customers you are winning.

The second lesson involves your marketing and advertising campaigns. One type of customer might respond better to your radio commercial or your limited time offer or your Facebook ad. But all that means is that you should be using more than 1 marketing or advertising tactic so you make sure you are adequately courting the full range of customers and potential customers.

So now to you. What have you experienced with your marketing and advertising? Have you noticed a different type of customer responding in store vs. online or to 1 type of ad campaign vs another?


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