Close your eyes. Done that? Good. Now I want you to picture your ideal customer in your head. What do they look like? Where do they work? Are they married? What’s their name even? Until you know everything about your ideal customer don’t even start to write any marketing. Seriously.

Did you know that 80% of business owners in the UK write all of their marketing before even thinking of who their customers are? Are you one of them? You need to write marketing that resonates with your customer but most business owners write it to resonate with themselves. REMEMBER YOU ARE NOT YOUR CUSTOMER!

Remember this – Market – Message – Media. In that order only. Firstly work out who your market is (the who) then the message you’re going to tell them (what you’re going to say) and finally the media you’ll use (direct mail, facebook etc).

Market – The Who – You need to make a customer avatar. This is a description of your ideal customer down to the smallest detail. You should work out; their age, their sex, where they live, married, children, their job, what problem do they have that you can solve, their fears, what they read and watch and finally even name them. I even get a random picture from the internet to put with the avatar. You now have someone to write your message to.

Message – Now when you craft your marketing message, you have to write it to your avatar you created above. This will mean it will resonate with them and “talk to them”. Think about the language you use. For instance if you were selling a product to the over 65’s, then you would use a different type of language if you were selling driving lessons to 17 year olds. Make sense? Add character and personalisation to your copy (there’s another whole article on this!). Have a look at Virgin holiday’s website and notice the way they write their copy.

Media – Now how are you going to tell your ideal customers about you? Back to our 17 year old learner drivers they spend 75% of their lives on Facebook! So Facebook ads would be a defo! But our over 65’s are much less likely to be on Facebook so our advertising would be wasted there. There are 131 different types of media to use. Your website, direct mail, Facebook, google adwords, newspaper ads, leaflets, magazines and sign writing to name just 8 of the 131.

How much would you pay for a carwash? Fiver usually eh? There’s a car washing company in Kensington whose prices start at £8000. Now I’m not going to get my VW golf cleaned there but I’m not that companies “who”. They clean super cars worth over £100K each. So all of their marketing budget will be aimed at those types of people. Don’t forget the three M’s.


Andy WillcoxAndy Willcox is the South West Business Growth Advisor for Nigel Botterill’s Entrepreneurs Circle. Please go to for more information.