A quick and relatively simple way to find valuable marketing data for your business is to take a closer look at your existing client base. Recognizing who hired you and why will help you understand the type of company and customer you should actively market. Without identifying this you could easily expend a lot of time, money, and wasted opportunity.
You can discover where to focus your IT marketing budget by creating an ideal client profile. This will actually hone your market while broadening the chances of finding a new lead.
Start by asking yourself some basic questions:
What type of company has benefited most from our services?
What is the company role of the individual who hired us?
Your goal is to understand both the kind of organization and the authoritative role of the person who has chosen to use your services. Are you establishing a niche in a specific vertical market? Is the hiring person the CEO or CFO or is it an IT manager that you will report to? It is important to consider exactly who hired you because at the end of the day it will be a human being who signs the contract.
Once you have answered those two questions, take this process a step further by filling in more detail. This will help to develop your client profile into what marketers would term a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a cumulative representation of your current client base. It attempts to pinpoint exactly to whom your marketing should be directed. It’s an effort to understand more than just an industry or a company but the type of person that will hire you.
Here are more detailed questions to ask:
Size of the organization
What is the average size of the company that hires us?
Type of industry
What professional associations are they’re involved in?
What type of conferences do they attend?
What publications do they read?
What words do they use for online searches for IT services?
How much computer hardware do they utilize?
What are their pressing technology needs?
What is our solution to their IT problems?
Who in the company makes the purchasing decision?
Do they make financial decisions based on a buying cycle, i.e., fiscal year planning, and seasonality?
What is the size of their IT budget?
What are the company’s expectations in hiring us?
Why did they choose us over a competitor?
How have we met their expectations?
Combine Your Findings to Develop Your Buyer Persona
Once you have gathered the data, take the common threads and use them to form your ideal client profile.
If you offer a wide variety of IT services, you may want to create a buyer persona for each of those services. This will help to personalize your messaging to resonate with your intended buyer.
Knowing what makes your buyers tick will shape what you post in your website landing pages, promotional emails, and blogs. You will also know which conferences or trade shows are worth attending to meet new prospects.
Review your ideal client profile annually to make sure your persona stays up to date. The better you know your existing customer, the more effective your marketing will be.