Many companies approach marketing from completely the wrong direction. They tend to hear of a marketing tool someone else is using with some success and want to use that tool themselves.

But this means their marketing strategy centres around a marketing tool, rather than the target client. Marketing is far more effective when you think about the type of person you are hoping to attract, than the marketing tool you would like to use.

A much more successful approach to marketing lies in the principle of the ‘Three Ms’ – Market, Message and Media

Market’ refers to the people you want to attract.

Message’ is the information you want to convey.

Media’ represents the method you’ll use to get your message in front of your target audience.

And this is where creating a client avatar comes in. Your avatar will serve as the basis for your marketing strategy, so you’ll need to spend time ensuring that you’ve got it right.

Build Your Customer Profile

It’s an undisputed fact that everyone works better with some people and businesses than with others – it’s only human nature. And it comes down to several things, including working in an industry that you like, how well you communicate with others, and even how quickly clients respond when you’re sending out invoices.

Think about your ideal customer. It needs to be someone you work really well with, and that you get good results from. And then start building an avatar, based on this person.

There are a lot of factors to consider when creating your avatar. Is your ideal client male or female? It won’t always be relevant, but it might make a difference. How old are they? What business sector do they work in? What is the turnover? Do they work as part of a team, or do they work alone? What are their bosses like? What do their bosses demand of them? What is their business culture? Do they have a budget for your services / products? What are their pain points? Are they particularly demanding? And which products or services are they most interested in? Are they looking for budget or premium? What social channels do they use? Are they part of any trade groups? The list goes on…

An important point to consider, is what they are actively looking for in their products, or from their service providers. Despite what you may think, this isn’t necessarily the best products, or even the cheapest prices. Your ideal client may value communication above all else, or they may even be looking for the most expensive options. The more specific you can be at this stage, the greater the chance that your marketing will hit the spot.

As you answer all of these questions, you’ll be building up a profile of your perfect client. This becomes your customer avatar, which is the basis for your marketing strategy. Now you need to decide which channels are best for getting your goods or services in front of them. This could be through social media ads, telephone calls, Adwords, SEO, email, or even via letter.

Let’s suppose that your perfect client is looking for great communication, a top-level service, premium products and low prices. If your marketing reflects these values, and if you can get your adverts and CTAs in front of that customer, then you’re giving them every opportunity to interact with your brand. And if you’ve done your research properly, you’ll be addressing the needs of more of your ideal customers. You’ll attract higher numbers of them to you, while limiting those clients who only create endless hassle.

It’s actually a very simple process, but it yields exceptional results. Create your avatar, think about the requirements of your preferred clients, and then choose which media, or combination of media, will suit their needs best. That could involve Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, exhibitions, flyers or targeted adverts.

But remember, you’re unlikely to hit on the perfect combination straight away. So you need to test out different adverts, media channels and CTAs. Try out a variety of messages and adverts, to find out which ones work best. The more you refine your client avatar and your marketing options, the better your results will be.

Richard Stinson

For more information on marketing your engineering business get in touch with Richard, he has over 15 years marketing experience, many of those gained within the engineering sector itself.