Customer Profiling

What is Customer Profiling?

Creating customer profiles is something all serious business owners do before they develop their marketing plans. It involves studying their target audience in such a way that they can create audience personas to direct their marketing. A persona is a picture of a particular audience of one, a typical person who might be in your target audience as described and defined down to their sex, income status, education, and more.

Customer profiling is an important way that you can improve your marketing so that it is more effective in capturing precisely the right person who is ready, willing, and able to purchase what you're offering. Without customer profiling, you're just guessing at what marketing efforts will work. This guessing can cause you to waste a lot of time, money, and effort, which is unacceptable these days.

You have many tools at the ready to help you study your target audience. Try these important steps to help you with your customer profiling efforts.

Determine Who You Want Your Customer to Be

If you don't have a product yet, it's easier to choose your audience, figure out what they need, and then provide solutions to them. But, if you already have a product or service, it's important to figure out who you want to use those products and services, and hopefully, they also need them.

Segment Your Customers into Sub-Groups - Try to Create at Least Three to Five

Every product has many subsets of users, and you need to figure out who yours are. That way, you can design different campaigns for each subgroup. You will want, for your first marketing campaign, to choose the largest and most likely buyers from your segments that you choose during your customer profiling exercise.

Create a Questionnaire for Each Subgroup

If you could ask them anything, what would you ask? Of course, ask the normal demographic questions but add in specifics to the questionnaire. Keep it short (about 4 to 8 questions) so that they don't get tired or bored. And be specific about your questions so that the group can be specific about their answers.

Get the Questions to Each Group through Social Media

Once you create your survey using either Google Docs or something like SurveyMonkey, send them to your audience via social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and so forth. Ask people you know to share your survey with specific people.

Get the Questions to Each Group through Whatever Means Necessary

If your audience often shops at your local mall, you can stand there and get them to answer your survey. For instance, if your audience is women between the ages of 22 and 30 who have kids, approach women who look as if they fit that group. Even if you want to reach these women online, getting answers from them in person will help you with your online marketing efforts.

Determine the Top Two Most Important Subgroups

Once you get some answers, determine which subgroup you'd most like to have as your clients or customers and start creating marketing plans that match their answers, needs, and concerns. You don't necessarily want to choose the largest of the subgroups but use an educated way to determine which are more likely to buy. A small group who will buy is much better than a larger group who won't buy.

Create Marketing Plans Based on Those Two Subgroups

Start working on your marketing plans. You should know how to reach them, what their problems are, and how you can solve them. By providing solutions in your marketing program, mixing up the marketing channels you use to reach this audience, and by being aware of who your audience is, you'll succeed.

Knowing the most likely people to buy from you is part of customer profiling. Through your study, you should be able to create now simple customer personas that you will now use to craft all your marketing programs - be they copywriting, videos, social media marketing, print ads, or others. They will all start with what you know about your customer, and who you want your customer to be.

About the Author Rich Thurman

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