We started our series of posts on the 5 P’s of Marketing three weeks ago with Jennifer Wilson’s post on Positioning. Then, Krista Remer introduced us to the next two P’s, Product/Service Mix and Pricing. In her post on Product/Service Mix, Krista introduced strategies for identifying your “front-burner” products and/or services. Once you’ve identified your firm’s front-burner products and/or services, your next step is to identify – or reconfirm – the “place” you will sell your products and services by defining the ideal target client for each product or service that your firm decides to put on the “front burner.”
Begin by describing the ideal client for your product or service in as much detail as you can. Include characteristics like size (by revenue, number of employees or personal wealth), industry, age, cultural background and any other characteristics that will would help you, your team members and referral sources identify them as a potential client. A good exercise to help you gain clarity around your target market is conducting a current client analysis. Reflect on which clients in each service area you consider to be the “ideal” and what defines them as they are likely to be the type of clients you want to attract. Some people resist defining their ideal target client because they’re afraid they’ll miss out on opportunities. But, the benefits of doing so include ensuring that you have profitable clients your team enjoys working with and that are a good fit given your firm’s culture and specialty areas.
Once you have a clear description of your ideal target client by product or service line, you’ll also want to consider where you will find them. Start by looking within your existing client base because you may find that some are ideal targets for additional products or services your firm offers, which would allow you to provide your clients additional value. Examine what trade publications your ideal target client might read, conferences they might attend and associations to which they may belong so that you can consider advertising or writing for those publications, attending the same events and joining associations where you will find them. In addition, consider creating a short profile and script of key questions for your staff to use to identify potential clients. Be sure to include who your staff should go to with possible prospects for each of your firm’s products or services to further qualify the opportunity.
The more specific information you have about the characteristics of your ideal target clients, the easier it will be for you to reach those ideal targets with your marketing messages. A clear and detailed definition of your target clients for each of your firm’s initiatives will simplify the process of buying lists, choosing which trade conferences to attend or sponsor, identifying publications in which to advertise or place articles and making other key marketing decisions on the activities you should undertake (which we’ll explore further in our next blog on promotion).
Once you’ve defined your ideal target client for each service and product and where you will find them, the next step is to carry out your promotional activities. Next week we’ll wrap up our series on Marketing Strategies to Drive Your Firm’s Growth with a post on the fifth P, Promotion, where we’ll discuss the activities to implement your marketing strategy.
Do you have a clear picture of what your ideal target client looks like? Does your staff? Are you afraid to define your ideal target client because you don’t want to exclude potential clients? Please post a comment to share how you define your ideal target clients and educate your team on how to identify them!