Jimmy Buffett is a master marketer. In a business where there are far more “one-hit wonders” than stars who remain relevant over multiple decades, Buffett has carved out a profitable niche. He has put strategy before tactics, and then crushed it on just about every tactic he’s executed.

There are seven authors who have reached the New York Times best-seller list in both nonfiction and fiction, in addition to Jimmy Buffett, the list includes Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, William Styron, Irving Wallace, Dr. Seuss and Mitch Albom. Not too shabby.

His ideal customer is the Parrothead. His differentiation is “island escapism”. By staying focused on the ideal customer and his differentiation, Buffett has leveraged his musical success into best-selling books, restaurant chains, a casino, Margaritaville radio and movies, to name just a few.

In the Duct Tape Marketing parlance, he has identified his ideal customer and his differentiation. He realizes the lifetime value of the Parrotheads and put a focus on creating multiple product offerings for them.

1. Ideal Customer

The ideal customer is your version of the parrothead. The ideal customer is not every customer. Duct Tape Marketing defines the ideal customer as one who values you, refers you and is willing to pay a premium for what you have to offer. Identify who these customers are and list shared characteristics. Based on this profile, look for others like them and develop a list. These are the people you market to – you can only afford to invest your time, effort and money on prospects who are likely to be ideal customers.

2. Differentiation

So now that you know what makes them an ideal, let them know what makes you ideally suited to assist them. Defining that differentiation might take a little digging, a lot of thought and some refinement. And remember, it has to separate your business from everyone else in the space. If you need some help, talk to your ideal customers: ask them what makes you different, why they chose you, and why they would refer you. Listen carefully and drill down for specific examples. You will start to see a theme develop and the point of differentiation will start to emerge.

3. Multiple offerings

As you are talking to your customer ask them what additional products or services they would like you to offer that currently is missing from your portfolio? You may get some ideas that are relatively easy to implement. You have established a sound relationship with your customers and it is proven that it is more profitable to sell to existing customers than selling to new customers. By offering additional products and services to your customers, you can continue to strengthen the trust and connection as well as grow your business.

It is worth your time and energy to do the work to identify your ideal customer. It is worth your time and energy to explore, define and refine your differentiation. Once you have done this, you can begin to look at additional offerings for your committed core and you can begin to groom your fans to find others to join the ranks of your referring ideal customers.

You will also have more fun – it is infinitely more rewarding to work with the ideal customer than to work for the nightmare customer – kind of goes without saying. What is keeping you from committing to your parrotheads?

Dawn Westerberg http://dawnwesterberg.com/ is the president of Dawn Westerberg Consulting LLC. She invites business owners to “Fall in Love with Your Business Again” through sound marketing strategy. Based in Austin, Texas, Dawn Westerberg Consulting LLC serves companies from coast to coast and border to border. A roulette strategy is an astounding approach to make a bet roulette.

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