Identifying your customer

1. Overview

Knowing who is likely to buy your product or service is fundamental to your business. This section explains how to identify your potential customers.

2. Who will buy from you?

Knowing who is likely to buy your product or service is fundamental to your business. You don’t want to waste time or money by focusing on the wrong people. Instead identify the people most likely to buy from you and target them.

You’ll want to find out how much demand there is likely to be for your product or service. Are there enough potential customers to make the market attractive to you?

Other questions that are important are:

  • how much are customers likely to buy?
  • how often will they buy? 
  • how much are they prepared to pay for your product or service?

3. What are their buying motives?

As well as creating a profile or picture of your target customers, it is important to understand their buying motives. What is it that motivates them to buy products and services like yours?

By understanding their reason for making a purchase, you can tailor your marketing to prioritise and emphasise these elements.

Here are some factors that may influence the buying decision:

QualityLength of guarantee

Speed (of service or delivery)Choice

PriceConvenience

Method of payment/payment termsCustomer support

 

As well as these, there may also be ‘hidden’ factors such as:

  • feeling or looking good
  • prestige or status
  • a touch of luxury
  • protection or to mitigate risk
  • it’s the latest or most up-to-date
  • it’s in alignment with their values or beliefs
  • to impress someone (neighbour, friend, boss)
  • to be or be seen as part of a group

In your research, you want to uncover all of the things that will influence someone’s buying decision. This will make it easier to direct your marketing and to stand out from your competitors.

Use this customer profile template (MS Word 15kb) to create a profile of your customer. 

 

Next: Types of Market Research