Marketing · Customer Acquisition

How do I target my ideal customer?

Haya Levine Independent Medical Practice Professional

May 21st, 2016

My ideal customer: 
1. Uses a lead generation service for cold leads. (I have some specific ones in mind). 
2. Is the head of sales at his/her company. 
3. Works at a company of 20 employees or less. 
4. Is not the CEO or owner of the company. 
5. Does business mostly in their own local area. 

What are some of the most cost effective and accurate ways to target people that fit this specific description? 
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Richard Harris Top 25 Inside Sales Leader, Public Speaker, 40 Most Inspiring Leader, Sales Trainer, Start-Up Advisor, SalesHacker

May 21st, 2016

I'd recommend narrowing down your ICP a bit more with 2-3 verticals or industries. 

Also, what product or service are you selling?


Bill Lennan Red Rope Social - everyone is an influencer.

May 21st, 2016

I start with one. 
I get a single lead to start. 
Then 2-4. 
Then 15-30
Then look for a clear pattern from the set.

It always starts with the first one.

Patrece Bryan Product, Content and Communications Strategist, Communications Advisor at Apartment

May 22nd, 2016

Hey Heya!

I'd love to answer your question with a thoughtful, strategic, hopefully helpful and actionable answer. However, without knowing what your goal is with customers and/or exactly what you do/sell I can't provide the answer that you deserve.

Apologies in advance for my ignorance of your occupation. 


Jonathon Lunardi

May 22nd, 2016

If your ideal customer is the head of sales, then you should get really good at using LinkedIn to target those people.  Almost every sales person I know is on LinkedIn and they are in groups that you can join, and then connect / message at the individual level. I would suggest creating a group to discuss important things within your industry and invite sales directors to join the group to participate as well. I am a big fan of providing value in the form of articles and discussions first and then make the sales pitch after you have gained a little trust once you have built the beginning of a relationship.  LinkedIn is a gold mine if you know how to use it properly....

Yoli Chisholm Founder at WELL - WeLearnLive.com

May 22nd, 2016

Here's what you do...
1. Uses a lead generation service for cold leads. (I have some specific ones in mind).
- Create that list of lead gen services then do competitive intelligence to reverse engineer the marketing these services are doing to attract their customers using a combination of Alexa, similarweb and spyfu. 
- Also take that list and use it to build a target segment in facebook and twitter of people who are friends, followers of these companies.
- Filter the list by overlaying the targeting criteria below with the refinements I have noted.

For points 2-5 below Facebook, Linkedin and twitter will let you target companies that fit your size criteria and specific job titles/roles in particular geographies.
Additionally if you already have a customer list you can upload that list into Facebook or twitter and find customers who look like them via look-alike modelling.
if you are using linkedin sales navigator you can actually see who in your network is connected to people at organizations that fit your criteria and get introductions or target them with inmail
If you actually have a named list of companies that you specifically want to do business with and you know them by name you can work with a company like Demandbase or madisonlogic that will do IP targeting.
If you have industry specific events that you know Sales managers from SMB companies will be attending you can Geo-fence that event so that anyone in that location eg. convention center/ conference hotel will be targeted with an Ad when they user their smartphones.

I could go on all day but there's a few things you can try... 
2. Is the head of sales at his/her company.
3. Works at a company of 20 employees or less.
4. Is not the CEO or owner of the company.
5. Does business mostly in their own local area.

Lina Gantar Co-Founder at Nuuk Digital

May 23rd, 2016

Hi Haya,

interesting variables and super useful suggestions from the other answers. I agree with LinkedIn Ads - they can really help you target the right people in B2B, so can Twitter Ads (as you can target a mix of Twitter accounts your target might follow - sales and CRM companies).

However, you also should consider content marketing. Think of what your target customer looks for on a daily basis and what type of articles they would be interested in reading. Then you can promote your content and get them sign-up to receive updates and voila, you have a pipeline of leads. 

Hubspot has some very good tactics and tools on their site to help you with that. Focus on 4 specific personas and create content that they would engage with. This will help you on the long run for sure.


Rill Hodari

May 23rd, 2016

Hi Haya, 

A localized company of 20 employees or less and the owner or co-founder is not the head of sales?  Hmm, if that is the case then the owner is very close to the head of sales such that contacting the owner is a direct link to the head of sales.  Also because of the localized nature of the company descriptions, I'd say contact chambers of commerce and small business development centers to find your targets.  If they really operate within very local boundaries, these organizations should know them.

Carey Martell New Media Expert and Entrepeneur

May 22nd, 2016

You should look into LinkedIn Ads. They have the targeting parameters that you are looking for.

Lin Julian Founder at myDress.com.tw

May 22nd, 2016

Do you sell on line or off line?
Facebook provide audience insight for you to find your right target.

Steve Gatter Providing Masterminds to B2B Solopreneurs & Start-Ups | Niche Marketing & LinkedIn Specialist

May 22nd, 2016

Hi Heya,

I second #Bill Lennan. Find one. And I agree with #Jon Lunardi, Linkedin is the ideal tool for finding the ideal individuals to meet.

The Lean Start Up by Eric Ries outlines a strategy to share a minimal viable product with your best guess ideal prospects. Meet these prospects and get their feedback. Are your product value suppositions correct? What does the real market think?

I'm happy to talk further. Identifying the ideal prospect in today's data rich world is a lot different than it used to be.