One of the many mistakes people encounter when developing their business’ offer, messaging, and marketing is they don’t understand the various types of customers or clients that make up their audience.

This lack of understanding, like all misalignment, can cause a complete mission failure. (By the way, preventing this mission failure is why we do what we do at INMARKCO.)

These customer-types fall into five categories:

Raving Fans
There is approximately 3% who will buy whatever you offer, simply because they love you.

Interested Prospects
There are approximately 7% who will learn about your offer and be easily convinced it is what they need to improve their lives.

These are people who probably could actually benefit from what you have to offer, but because they are comfortable with where they are at or are afraid to be challenged, they will resist your offer and have to be deeply convinced before they’ll ever purchase. This group makes up about 30%.

Late Adopters
Another 30% are people who will eventually see that your offer has served people like them and will eventually come around. They won’t be convinced by you or sold on the features of your offer or benefit of working with you as much as they will be convinced by “everybody” else they respect benefiting from you.

Competitor Customers & Hard “No’s”
The last 30% are customers of your competitors or people who will never pay for your offer no matter what.

Customer Types Pie Graph

It’s not a given that you should pursue all of these customer types. And the customers from different categories you do pursue should each be approached in a different way.

Most businesses, ironically, only go after the Resistors. All of their marketing efforts are spent trying to convince people who could benefit from your product to purchase it. However, in targeting these clients, instead of overcoming the objections, fears, and apathy due to current comfort, they focus on benefits (which is actually a better approach for the Interested Prospects group).

Additionally, most businesses fail to build a large list of interested prospects (typically an email list) to market to.

Worse still, most businesses—when launching a new product or service—fail to adequately notify their raving fans and capture the low-hanging fruit of income that is easily available to them.

It’s also typical for businesses to fail to remember the long tail of their products and services in their marketing; thereby missing the late adopters as well.

When it comes to the last 30%—the competitor customers and hard “no’s”—it’s usually only the big brands that have the marketing capital and time to try to capture those customers. Think about how you see Coca-Cola commercials on TV. Even though everyone knows who Coca-cola is (they have plenty of brand awareness), they’re trying to capture the last 30% of customers. Unless you’ve captured the other 70%, you should avoid going after this audience segment.

When we work with clients, we use the following sequence to maximize customer acquisition strategy:

1. Go after the low-hanging fruit (Raving Fans). We want to make sure there is no easy money left on the table.

2. Create a way to re-capture the attention of Late Adopters on older services or products.

3. Build a list of Interested Prospects. This is the most sustainable and scalable segment for long-term growth.

4. Design a process for educating the Resistors. Often, this will involve improving foundational elements such as branding, websites, landing pages, social channels, etc. as well as messaging elements such as value statements, tag lines, etc.

5. When all of the above has been done really well, we’ll probably go through and do steps 1-4 again (because by now, we’ve created more Raving Fans, have a better marketing message for Late Adopters, and have a better list of Interested Prospects that could benefit from the work done in step 4).

6. We’ll automate and create scalability/sustainability for all the above.

7. Then, and only then, will we try to go after the last 30%.

It’s part science and part art, but thinking through how your audience is segmented and how you approach each group is essential to properly aligning your marketing and, ultimately, critical to accomplishing your business goals.

We’d love to walk through this with you. For a free initial consultation, contact us!