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How to Make Sure You Have a Clear Understanding of Your Core Customer

Posted by Ben Alisuag on 9/13/17 12:18 AM

 Understanding your core customers and their needs is the foundation of any marketing strategy. If you don’t know what makes your customer laugh or cry, then you haven’t done enough research to understand your audience. Why is this important? If you want to create effective advertisements, emails or social media content, then your messaging has to be on point. Think about your customer’s needs and challenges in everything you do, from your website to your customer service experience.

understand your core cutsomer

How do I know if I have the right core customer?

As a quick review, your core customers are the specific group of customers at which a product or service is aimed. As you may know, it is not effective to market to everyone. Once you’ve determined the characteristics of your core customer, which we also call your target market, then you can tailor your marketing and your product or service to meet their needs and expectations. The better you do this the more satisfied your customers will be!

For example, a high-end cosmetics company would identify a target market that is comprised mostly of women who are old enough and educated enough to have the disposable income to spend on the products being offered.

The more specific you can define your target customer, the easier it will be to tailor your product to fit their needs, to find your customers and to cost-effectively reach them. Take a look at an example below.


scott's miracle-gro

Scott’s Miracle-Gro is a leading provider of lawn and garden care products. You can see a screenshot of their website above. We will review their website to understand how they market their business and products. This will give us insight into the specific group of customers they are targeting.

What Does their Website Say About Their Target Market?

The business is obviously targeting men. There is a lone male on the homepage, and even the product's name is likely in reference to a male individual. There is also a focus on Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects.

We can infer that the target market is comprised of homeowners since renters are less likely to invest heavily in lawn and garden care for property that does not belong to them. You can use a free website like www.bankrate.com to find the average mortgage price for a house. So, based on the above observations, we can determine the following profile for Scotts’ target market to be:

  • Male
  • Interested in DIY projects
  • Homeowners
  • Earn at least $50K a year

This is the same type of exercise you should do with your own product and customers--it will make a huge impact on your marketing outreach. You can use the following set of questions to make sure you are effectively evaluating your target audience:

  1. What demographic information do I have about my core customer (i.e. age, gender, location, etc.)?
  2. What are the interests and hobbies of my core customers?
  3. What are the needs or challenges of my core customers?
  4. How do my core customers make the decision to purchase?


You have to look at every part of your business area to make sure that your product messaging is aligned with your core customer. They should have a 360 degree experience tailored to their needs and wants.

Whether you are updating your website, launching a new product line, or just sending a friendly email, make sure you ask yourself the question, “Why would my customer care about this?” Keeping a customer-centric approach will keep your business afloat!

If you found this helpful, you should know that it's just the tip of the iceberg. We invite you to start a FREE trial of our Mainstreet Marketing online course for small businesses. Learn how to grow and fulfill the potential of your business. 

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Topics: Marketing