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A 10-minute test to help you uncover the single most important thing in your marketing plan

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10 minute marketing testNo matter what your line of work, you have something in common with every other business on the planet – you serve someone.

For you to earn money, other people have to see a value in the goods or services you supply. They give you money – you supply them with what they want or need and the transaction is complete.

It may sound obvious – but so often we lose sight of who we are serving when planning marketing strategy.


It’s easy to be distracted by the latest marketing craze, or quick fix to finding new customers.  You can spend a lot of money very quickly, with little or no return if you don’t take a strategic approach to how you invest in your marketing.

How will you decide if a new tactic is a good fit for your customers unless you really know who they are?

How well do you know your customers?

Here’s a quick 10 minute test to see who you should be aiming to connect with.

Take a blank sheet of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle – making two columns.

In the left column write a quick list of the first customers that spring to mind when you think of ‘great customers’ – the ones that are a pleasure to work with, value your services, pay on time and refer new customers to you.

In the right column do the opposite. Yes, that’s right, the customers you would rather not have. This is the real world, everyone has some customers who make them inwardly groan when their number flashes up on caller display!

They could be the people who have to be chased over and over to get paid, or perhaps those that are rude and irritable, no matter how helpful you and your team are. Whatever the reason, make a note of them in the right column.

This shouldn’t take more than 2 minutes – GO!

What to do with your list

Now take a different coloured pen and note down similarities between your great customers, some ideas to get your started:

  • What industry are they in?
  • How big is their business (number of employees or turnover)?
  • Are they located close-by or far away?

Now scan down the list and look at what jumps out at you. Are there particular traits that your preferred customers have that your less desirable customers don’t?

Your starting point for a great marketing plan

This is just a starting point to creating a full customer profile – but it’s a great place to begin.

Knowing who you what to connect with – on a granular level – is essential for a great marketing plan.

Developing this further, to include their desires and fears will help you construct marketing messages that really resonate and connect with your preferred prospective customers.

Think also about the places your ideal customer hangs out – what are their preferred social channels? What about the business groups are they likely to attend? Or perhaps even, who you might know in common who could give you an introduction?

Simply smarter snapshot

  • Your customers are the most important thing in your marketing plan
  • Targeted marketing will improve your results and eliminate wasted spend
  • Developing full customer profiles will help you make better decisions.

Simply smarter steps to success

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The Simply Smarter Marketing blog is written and maintained by SBL Media, experts in helping business owners get more from their marketing

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