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“Not everyone is your customer.”

In the very busy markets of Yaba in Lagos, Nigeria, one has to be at alert at all times, not just for security purposes; but to ward off overzealous vendors who pester you with not just their words but their hands to hold you as you walk past. You hear something like:

“Na jeans you wan buy? I get your size.”

“Curtains, bedsheets? Customer, I dey here.”

At this point, one is pushed to wonder if you look like you lack any of these things they aggressively advertise. This is, however, just a tactic for these vendors to catch the attention of those who may or may not need their services.

This “casting your net anywhere” method is half the time very ineffective; for one, it is difficult to convince someone who doesn’t want to buy from you to do so. Secondly, a good percentage of people who want to purchase the product you sell may already have their preferred vendor, and you’re left with a small number of people who want to try someone new.

In small and large businesses, most companies invest in a marketing strategy that seeks to identify the people most likely to buy from them and how to consistently communicate the company’s products/services to them rather than trying to engage with a broader audience which will most cost more and bring lesser returns.

For instance, Harvey’s couture sells clothes and may have its target audience as women. However, not every woman would buy from Harvey’s couture. This is why most brands go further to draft a customer persona, which will guide their product delivery and services to suit the customers.

Drafting a customer persona is a whole lot like describing your spec in a relationship; firstly, we wouldn’t need the colour of the customers’ eyes, height, or the presence /absence of facial hairs.

The content of your customer persona would be similar to detailed profiling, where you give an in-depth description of the prospective or current customer, their challenges and then figure out the ways your products could be positioned as a solution for them.

In the case of Harvey’s couture; drafting a customer persona would be to pick one woman and then create a detailed profile of her, ranging from her age, style preference, passion, attitude to life, behavioural attributes, daily activities, and generally getting into the minds of their customer to draw up an in-depth personality.

When this is done, Harveys’ target audience may narrow down to the working-class women who are pressed for time and need a brand that runs quick delivery of quality and affordable clothes.

This will help Harvey’s couture to create personalised marketing material that specifically targets these types of women.

Getting the most out of your marketing strategy and processes will only be possible if your products, services, and ads are targeted at the right people and not a broad audience. It is essential that you take the time to draft out your customer persona to start selling to willing customers.

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