Profiling Ideal Clients to Attract & Qualify New Agency Business with Susan Baier

By Jason Swenk on February 8, 2017

Profiling Ideal Clients to Attract New Agency Business

If you are pulling generic data and basing your entire client persona off of it, you’ve got to catch this interview. To attract and qualify new agency business you need to be profiling ideal clients. This episode is all about how you can really zero in on how to start profiling ideal clients and your client’s clients.

In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • What “attitudinal segmentation” is and why you need to be doing it.
  • 2 problems with the way agencies are strategizing now.
  • 3 ways of profiling ideal clients and getting better data on your prospects.

Our guest today is Susan Baier, founder of has spent 30 years in the marketing space. She’s worked both agency-side and client-side as a strategist until eight years ago when she founded her agency specializing in attitudinal segmentation and research. Susan tells us all about using custom research and data to avoid being a “me too” agency.

Profiling Ideal Clients: The Key Factors

WTF is “Attitudinal Segmentation”? (And why should your agency care?)

Since the dawn of time, agencies have been using research and data to hone in on their clients needs, and using the same for their client’s clients. However, as things change we need to start considering more than just geographic and demographic information. Attitudinal segmentation is a fancy way of using customers preconceived notions and attitude in order to market to them better. With this type of research and data, marketers can tailor their campaigns with regard to customers’ attitude toward an industry, business or product. Marketers can also learn more customers’ thoughts and feelings about a particular industry, product, service, brand etc. by using this type of data. The result is more efficient and effective marketing that provides the service and value their prospects desire most.

2 Problems with Status Quo

Susan says agencies and clients think they understand what their customers want. However, without considering attitude and emotion, we’re not getting the whole picture. Gone are the days of marketing to a particular demographic (i.e. white females 25-40, on Pinterest), so most small and mid-sized agencies are doing a combination of going with their gut and buying packaged data. The problem is:

1. The data is irrelevant. Agencies and client execs spend hours upon hours developing their customer persona based on what they “believe” is going on in the marketplace. They are using their own personal experiences, underlying beliefs and anecdotal information to make assumptions about their customers.

2. The research is unhelpful. Generally, pre-packaged data is pretty accessible to everyone and doesn’t identify anyone in particular. It is only industry specific, but not customer or brand specific. The data is vague and only gives insight into a type of person (based on age, race, interests, etc.) but nothing specific.

3 Ways to Get Better Data

1. Surveys

Surveys can help you understand what content is more relevant and valuable to the people visiting your site. For the past year, I have been using a Progressive Profiling Page for my lead magnet opt-ins and it is getting a 94% response rate. Progressive profiling is a series of 3-4 questions that helps me understand who is visiting my site as well as helps me qualify and tag them into the right automated marketing campaign. You can also survey your existing customer base to gather and interpret the data on why or how they feel about your business, offerings, industry, etc.

Pro: People are programmed to answer questions when asked. When you require a few answers before delivering on your lead magnet promise, you’ll get a really good picture of who’s visiting your site and why.

Con: Identifying the right questions to ask can be tricky. There are still some assumptions involved and it’s hard to pinpoint the exact questions to ask in order to get a the data you desire.

2. Personal Outreach

It might seem old fashioned, but talking to your existing clients can give you keen insights. This means picking up the phone and actually speaking to someone – no hiding behind email. Ask all your questions and get honest feedback to use in your marketing strategies.

Pro: One on one conversations can be highly effective and beneficial for gaining an understanding of your clients thoughts, attitudes and emotions.

Con: This type of research is not statistically valid. While you can gain information and insight, personal conversations cannot be used as mathematical data. It’s also really hard to reach a large sampling when making personal calls, therefore you can’t drive all your marketing strategy based on conversations with a handful of people.

3. Statistical Study

This is the best and most valuable way of securing data full of with attitudes, thought and feelings. A statistical study involves a large sampling with custom filters for demographics as well as specific questions about habits, opinion, mood and mindset of a distinct group of people.

Pro: This approach yields the best results and gives a very clear picture of what’s really going on. You can use it to obtain custom information and create a very clear persona for your content and marketing strategy.

Con: Fear of the results… it’s not really a “con” but some are afraid of getting super specific research because it might make results may show that your marketing strategy isn’t working. Don’t be afraid of results. Do a good job of selling in the need for research and the benefits of it’s accuracy. Then use it to learn what is and is not working. Don’t shy away from accountability. Instead use it to your advantage. You can analyze data and make it work in your and your clients’ favor.

With good data and research your “good” work will be even better. Clarity on who you’re talking to and what’s important and valuable to them means getting it right, right away. Less testing and tweaking means more efficiency and faster results.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Marketing is a one-to-one conversation. Having good data gets you closer to a one-on-one, a lot quicker.” quote=”Ultimately, marketing is a one-to-one conversation. Having good data gets you closer to a one-on-one, a lot quicker.”]

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Building Authority for your Agency

When profiling ideal clients for your agency, you could be at the beginning of increasing the workflow for your team and increasing revenue. However, what happens if this happens and there are weaknesses within your agency that causes everything to breakdown? Don’t worry, i’m here for all the advice you need.

I have been in the industry for a long time and I have had my own experience running my own digital agency as well as helping other digital agency owners so there are many topics where I can offer guidance. Whether you are experiencing challenges as an established agency or a new agency unsure of what the different phases of growth you will experience will look like, I’ve got you covered.

As you continue to grow your agency team, I can show how to recognise when it’s time to hire a sales manager or expand your sales team to perfecting your business strategy with creating a process for performance based pricing and how to keep your big name clients happy.

Are you ready to create something cool and want more advice? Learn about my career and different experiences as well as tips, tricks and insights by checking out my blogs that cover a wide variety of topics.

Check out more from my Ask Swenk series and more of my videos on my Youtube channel. There you will find advice from myself

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