Every business is looking for that bullseye prospect–the client or customer that is worth their time, marketing dollars, effort, blood, sweat and tears. Whether you are a restaurant, insurance company or dental practice, you must determine your ideal target audience to establish an effective marketing strategy. This is the only way to craft your services for the most loyal clients and appreciative customers. Here are some simple and creative ways to narrow down your audience and nail that bullseye prospect with confidence and accuracy.

  1. Answering the question, who is your ideal target audience?

Most businesses don’t have the budget to reach everybody in the world, nor do they really want to. Start the process of determining your ideal target audience by making the isolation of prospects a priority in your marketing strategy. Make a list of variables for the most ideal clients that you know you can reach. As you go through this process, you’ll notice the list slowly starting to seep in and alter the look of your messaging and marketing strategy. Congratulations! You are starting to aim smarter, bringing you closer to that bullseye moment of glory!

  1. Get Specific

“When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.” – Meredith Hill

Truth! It is just not possible to speak one message that is meaningful to every single person. When you specify who you are trying to reach through your marketing strategy, you create mental hooks for your audience. These hooks provide results–something to “hang your hat on.” They create mental images that connect to the narratives we have about our lives. Igniting this mental activity in your audience is a fantastic start in the process of acquiring a new customer.

Below are some handy “mental hook” examples:

Marketing campaigns that are general and unspecific remain foggy in the brain.

       Yeah, that’s a cool coffee shop, I guess (shoulder shrug).  

But, throw in some specific details and photos about an area where kids can play and the coffee shop suddenly snags on the brain…

        Oh that coffee shop would be a perfect place for our weekly mom’s bible study! The food is good and the kids would be able to play and entertain themselves there (relief, hand claps, giggles). 


I should tell my daughter about that place. She is always looking for a way to get out of the house and do something fun with her kids.

In this example, the coffee shop is ideal for families and people with kids. When you create that mental hook through your messaging and marketing, you grab a hold of individuals who will adore and appreciate your business. The more specific you are in determining your ideal target audience the more effective you will be.

  1. The Stephenson Model

The Stephenson Model is a great way to mentally grasp who you are trying to reach. Through this tool, business owners can identify the primary characteristics of their ideal client.

The Stephenson model is a 4 quadrant figure with an x and y-axis.

  1. Start by asking yourself, what is the primary characteristic (revenue is a great place to start) of our ideal consumer? Place this answer on the y-axis.
  2. Next, identify a second characteristic of an ideal prospect. This could be personality, location or type of business, such as a family owned business. Place this characteristic on the x-axis.
  3. Now that you have both x and y-axis, prioritize your ideal to less-than ideal prospects using your quadrants and find your most ideal spot. Here is where you shoot for the bullseye! Inevitably, you will also hit other potential clients that are outside your ideal prospect, but aim for that bullseye–that target client–first. In marketing, you have to give your business the opportunity to hit the ideal target.
  4. After you’ve established your bullseye, sharpen your aim even more. Make a list of even more ideal variables; be as specific as possible and dive deeper.  Maybe you identify the main decision-maker in a business you’re trying to reach. Ask yourself, what are they like? What capacity are they working in? Isolate and determine even more variables. This can go on and on…

In a game of darts, you can never aim too accurately. What do you have to lose? So, you hit the ideal target every time. That’d be ok! You’re bound to hit some of the outside numbers even if you aim perfectly. But, if you don’t sharpen your aim, you may not even hit the board. Defining your ideal target audience is always the best way to win in marketing. Good luck with your bullseye everybody!

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