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What Makes People Buy: Part 4

Welcome back to our series on "Why People Buy." In Part 1, we spoke about why you need to make sure that your customers are aware of the problem they are experiencing and how your product or service can solve this problem. In Part 2, we focused on helping customers understand what life can be like once the problem is solved. Then, in Part 3, we explored the art of convincing customers that your product or service is the best solution for solving their problem.

Now, in Part 4, we’re looking at the next criteria on our list: “They need to have the means to purchase your product or make use of your services." 

It's important to understand that even the most effective marketing strategies won't lead to sales if they target an audience that doesn't have the means to buy the product or service. In this post, we look at what you can do to make sure that your marketing efforts reach an audience that not only has a problem that your business can solve but also has the means to buy your product or service.

Zia Redd What Makes People Buy Part 4 Red Tulip in Field

Understanding Your Ideal Customer Persona (ICP)

First things first, let's get a better understanding of what an Ideal Customer Persona (ICP) is. An ICP is essentially a detailed profile of your perfect customer - not just any customer, but one who represents the highest value to your business. It's a semi-fictional character based on real data and some educated guesses about demographics, behaviour patterns, motivations, and goals.

But why is an ICP so important? Imagine you're a skilled archer. Without a clear target, where would you aim your arrows? Similarly, in marketing, without a clear understanding of who you're trying to reach, your efforts, no matter how well-curated, could end up missing the mark. An undefined ICP can lead to vague and ineffective marketing strategies that don't resonate with any specific audience, resulting in low conversion rates and missed sales opportunities. 

How to Define Your ICP Step-by-Step

I cover this process in-depth in my eBook, but here is a quick condensed version of the full process that you can consider:

  • Gather Demographic Information: Start with the basics like age, gender, location, education level, and job title. This helps in creating a basic idea of who your ideal customer might be.

  • Consider Financial Means: This is where affordability comes in. What is their income level? What kind of disposable income do they have? Understanding their financial means helps you know that you're targeting people who can realistically afford your product or service.

  • Analyse Lifestyle and Values: What does a day in their life look like? What are their hobbies, interests, and values? This helps in understanding their buying behaviour and how your product fits into their life.

  • Understand Their Pain Points: What challenges and problems are they facing that your product or service can solve? This insight is important for positioning your product as a solution to their specific needs. You have most likely already started developing an idea of this as you went about crafting your marketing messages in Parts 1 - 3 of this series. 

  • Examine Their Buying behaviour: Where do they usually shop? Are they more likely to buy online or in-store? Understanding their shopping habits helps you decide where to focus when it comes to the distribution of your marketing message. (We’ll get into this in more detail just now.)

  • Use Customer Feedback and Data: Use surveys, interviews, and customer data to refine your ICP. Feedback from real customers who love your product can provide invaluable insights. 

By understanding who is most likely to buy your product, aligning your marketing message to this ICP, and then distributing your marketing message in places where your ICP is most likely to see it, you increase the likelihood of your marketing message resonating with them, leading to higher conversion rates and a more effective sales process.

Marketing Distribution Strategies

However, simply knowing who your ideal customer is isn’t enough. You also need to make sure that your message actually reaches your ideal customer. Placing your marketing material isn't a game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. You have to be strategic. How? By knowing WHERE your ICP is. Because understanding your Ideal Customer Persona does more than just clarify who your audience is; it also guides you in selecting the most effective marketing channels to reach them. 

What are Marketing Channels?

Before we go any further, let's first clarify what marketing channels are. In simple terms, a marketing channel is any medium you use to communicate with your target audience. This could be anything from traditional avenues like TV and print ads to digital spaces like social media, email marketing, or even content marketing on blogs and websites. Each channel has its own unique strengths and caters to different segments of the audience. 

Knowing your ICP helps tailor your choice of marketing channels. For example, imagine your business sells eco-friendly, high-end cleaning products. Your ICP might be environmentally conscious homeowners in the age bracket of 30-45, with a middle to high-income range. Knowing this, you might deduce that your ICP is likely to be active on platforms where environmental issues are discussed, such as certain Facebook groups, environmentally-focused blogs, or Instagram profiles that are dedicated to sustainable living. They might also read specific lifestyle magazines or listen to podcasts about eco-friendly living. As you can imagine, placing ads in these digital spaces, or contributing articles to those blogs, or sponsoring segments in those podcasts would be effective strategies to reach your ICP. 

Making use of those marketing channels will increase the likelihood that a person who has a problem that you can solve AND who has the means to buy your product will be exposed to your marketing material. Choosing the right channel to deliver a marketing message is an equally important aspect that we sometimes overlook because we are so focused on creating the ideal message. Not only is what we say important, but where and how we say it also matters.


Do you see why understanding who your ideal customer is is so important to achieving point 4 on our list? 

To successfully market and sell a product or service, you need to target an audience that not only has a problem that your business can solve but also has the means to purchase your product or make use of your services. This can be achieved by understanding your ideal customer and where to find them. You then need to strategically choose marketing channels that will effectively reach your ideal customer.


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