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Event Preview: How Do You Find Your Ideal Customer Archetype?

By January 3, 2016Brand

The world’s most profitable and well-known brands bond in highly emotional and compelling ways with the customers who are most likely to spend the most money with them. But how?

On Jan. 21, Deb Gabor, founder and CEO of Sol Marketing, will lead an interactive workshop to guide you through identifying and profiling the customer who is most predictive of your success using the Ideal Customer Archetype methodology.

We caught up with Deb for a sneak preview of her session at Austin AMA’s January luncheon, How Top Brands Create Irrational Loyalty, held Jan. 21 at Maggiano’s Little Italy at the Domain. Register now!

What is an Ideal Customer Archetype, and why does it matter?

The ideal customer archetype is a way to simplify the description of the target customer who is the most highly predictive of your success. Often, we go through the process of segmenting our customers, of dividing them apart from one another based upon behaviors and attitudes, and segment marketing is hard because you don’t usually have enough resources or time to be able to communicate differently to all your different segments. So, the ideal customer archetype is almost the exact opposite of segmentation, and involves coming up with a profile that acts as a caricature of a customer. It gives you something to point toward—to say, if I could get just 10 customers who looked exactly like this, we would be wildly successful.

So what is the difference between segmentation and constructing the ideal customer archetype?

Segmenting your audience and trying to take different actions to get to different audiences makes your marketing very fragmented, and it’s easy to lose sight of positioning and who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing.

What the ideal customer archetype does is it helps you identify—across all different segments of customers—the things that they have in common, the attributes that we perform really well on that they hold important, and the reasons for believing that we can address their needs and that we honor our promises.

How can we, as marketers, determine our Ideal Customer Archetype?

Determining the ideal customer archetype starts with asking several questions: Who are we for? Who is the customer? And let’s say it’s a B2B brand: What is the job title of the person inside the company who is making the decision to purchase what we sell? Who is the person who has the most purchase influence? How do they measure themselves? What are the metrics that they hold themselves accountable for? It really is about taking a walk in the customer’s shoes.

When we do the ideal customer archetype exercise as a group when I’m there at the AMA meeting, I’m going to introduce some really fun and interesting methodologies that will help stimulate marketers’ creativity in terms of creating this profile of the ideal customer.

Is this methodology more of an art or a science? Or a mix between the two?

I would say that everything that happens in branding, at least strategic branding, is the perfect mixture of art and science—where the art part is about the creativity and the innovation and the digging to understand the psyche of the ideal customer. The science part of it is understanding the numbers—the who, how many, where they are, the types of decision-making responsibilities they have, their sphere of influence, and measuring the likelihood that this ideal customer would actually be a purchaser of the products that we would sell.

So, it’s this great mixture of art and science and really the beauty of the ideal customer archetype is that you can create almost an illustration—it can be even a physical illustration as people will learn when they come to this AMA luncheon—of what is the absolute ideal that can serve as a North Star for getting closer to the profile of the customer who’s going to be the one to make your organization most successful.

What about customers who are maybe less ideal, but still important? How do we balance out marketing strategies that still resonate with them while focusing on the ideal customer?
The ideal customer archetype isn’t about which customers are ideal and which are not ideal. It’s less black and white than that. The ideal customer archetype methodology is about creating this profile—this caricature of what the ideal customer can be like. We know that the ideal customer archetype is like a unicorn—these customers don’t really exist in the wild, so what I’m going to talk about at the luncheon is what to use the ideal customer archetype for, how to create it, why it’s important.

That’s to say, it’s not separating the wheat from the chaff; this is more about creating a profile to guide strategies and messaging because you can’t divide your audience and market to each of them in the same way.

What’s one action that we could start doing right away to identify and reach our ideal customers?

Suspend everything you know about segmenting and profiling your audience and reset your sites on that one singular customer that you think will bring you success because you can use that as a focal point for your marketing and messaging.

Learn more about the ideal customer archetype from Deb at the Austin AMA’s next luncheon on Jan 21: How Top Brands Create Irrational Loyalty.

Register for this Exciting Event!

About the Presenter

Deb GaborDeb is a brand dominatrix and investor pitch whisperer with legendarily bad travel karma. In her capacity as Sol Marketing’s strategic and spiritual leader, Deb has led brand strategy and research engagements for organizations ranging from international household names like Dell, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft and NBC Universal, to digital winners like Allrecipes, Cheezburger and RentPath, to well-loved Austin icons like Austin Ventures, HomeAway, KUT/KUTX, ZACH Theatre, RetailMeNot, The University of Texas at Austin and St. Edward’s University. Additionally, she has supported hundreds of startup founders in enticing investors to reach into their wallets and support their visions. Investor pitches created by Deb and her team have raised amounts ranging between $250,000 and $85,000,000.

Before starting Sol Marketing in 2003, Deb was Senior Vice President at Citigate Cunningham, a strategic communication firm serving technology digital media and financial brands around the world. Prior to that, Deb was the managing director of brand research and strategy at IntelliQuest. Before crossing the chasm to agency work, Deb worked in-house as a brand manager and marketing manager at several high tech companies in the Chicago area. Deb is a proud member of the Austin chapter of the Entrepreneurs Organization and serves on the board as marketing and communications chairperson. Additionally, she has served on the board of directors of the Jewish Community Association of Austin, Austin Children’s Theatre and Liv in the Game and on the ZACH Theatre’s board’s marketing committee.

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