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Why the World is NOT Your Market

Marci Whitman


Marci Whitman

Estimated Reading Time

2 minutes

One of the first questions I ask a new coaching client is who their market is. The majority of the time the answer is, “anyone with ______” (fill in blank with your product).

Folks, the world is not your market! Let’s say you have $10,000 to market your carpet cleaning business (I use this amount in most examples). Of course you want to spend that money and get the highest return possible, right?

The carpet cleaner says everyone with carpets are ideal customers for me. That is far from true. Here’s just a few reasons why “everyone” is not your ideal customer:

  1. Just because someone has carpet in their house doesn’t mean they clean it.
  2. What is your service area? Are you willing to drive 30 – 50 miles for one room? Will you make any profit doing so?
  3. Do you clean both residential and commercial properties?
  4. What size home (sq footage) is more profitable?

There are many other questions to ask yourself:

  • Look at demographics (revenue/income, age, marital status, education, location)
  • Look at psychographics
  • Keep in mind you have $10,000 to spend… wouldn’t you want your ad, mailer, commercial, etc., to be in front of customers that are willing and ready to purchase your service?
  • Do you want to attract the customer who has just one room to clean or three rooms?
  • Do you want to attract the customer who schedules regular cleanings throughout the year or just when the carpet is a disaster?
  • Do you want the customer who has the money to pay for fabulously clean carpets or the one asking for a discount?

Exercise: Develop Your Ideal Client Profile

  1. Take a sheet of paper or better yet several index cards
  2. Consider your ideal client “if all your clients could be like this______”
  3. List out where they live, shop, range of income or home value, etc.
  4. If your looking at businesses look at their revenue, size, purchase history, associations, membership, etc.,
  5. Take each of these items and list them on your index card or paper. When you make a marketing decision refer to this list to determine if the activity will put you in front of the right market.

Example Carpet Cleaning Ideal Customer Profile:

  • Located in the cities of (or radius of office) take it several steps further and list the housing communities you want to clean in
  • Homes valued at $300,000 and above
  • Square footage of 2200 or more
  • Been in home 2 years (or homes older than 2 years)
  • Income level of $150,000
  • Married with children living at home
  • Cleans their carpet 2-3 times per year
  • Has multiple rooms to clean w/each visit

Once you have the profile you can seek ways of attracting your ideal customer. Look at HOA newsletter advertising, community outreach, direct mailers, etc.

The key is to understand that making general statements that everyone with carpets need your service is hurting your business. Make an effort to clearly define your ideal customer. Make sure you stop saying “everyone” at your networking events, when you ask for referrals be clear and you’ll see a drastic shift in the type of customer you attract.