The Magical Customer Profile And What It Can Do For Your Business

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Imagine that you have your business up and running, people are going to your website, and your marketing department has gone and run every campaign imaginable. Yet, your registry sits idle, those who come to your website leave within seconds, and you end up scratching your head trying to figure out what went wrong.

You might have fallen victim to a mistake everyone makes now and then - targeting the wrong customers.

Content marketing is a brand new beast to tame and traditional marketing is no longer the norm.

The old ways don’t work anymore now that people have adblocker extensions and ad fatigue.

Marketers are constantly experimenting with new techniques to engage their target customers and provide them with something worthwhile.

Content marketing these days is not just about viral videos and memes. One can create valuable content for just about any type of industry.

To properly market to customers, you have to understand and get to know them. This can effectively be done by building a customer profile, then developing a system for creating and evaluating those profiles.

In this article, we’ll go through together just what a customer profile is and how to start making your own.

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What Is A Customer Profile?

Let us start from the very beginning.

A customer profile is a dossier or documentation of your current customers or customers that you want to have. It outlines and identifies all sorts of data related to your customers like their pain points, purchasing behaviours, their occupation or approximate incomes (yes, it is that detailed), etc.

In a nutshell, you define who your customers are so that you can better understand their needs and position your product or service to better match their needs.

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What Is It Necessary?

Using all that information in your customer profile, you can then know who your target customer is.

This then means you can run better marketing and ad campaigns which in turn will increase sales and translate into more profit.

What happens if you don’t have one?

You risk marketing to just about anyone and everyone which just leads to wasted time and lost deals.

Benefit Of A Customer Profile

Better Lead Generation

By knowing who you are targeting, you can find better prospects who are more likely to buy your product or service.

Spend Less To Acquire New Customers

When you know who your customers are, running campaigns can yield better results since you are specifically targeting them, and instead of having to run multiple campaigns, just one will be enough to convince them.

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Serve Existing Customers Better

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could know what doubts your customers had and then provide effective solutions? That’s why knowing your customers is key to better customer service.

Reduce The Number Of Customer You Lose

Create strong customer profiles and you can attract the customers who want to use your product which reduces customer churn in the long run.

Increase Customer Loyalty

When you can serve your customers better, understand them, actually sell them what they want, and are happy with the service you provide, all of this done right can lead to you having a customer for life.

How To Come Up With A Customer Profile

The best part here is that you’ll already have everything you need to start working on a customer profile of your own.

You may start from your existing customer pool or just do some simple introspection about your business.

We first need to understand the types of customer profiling that will form the core of our customer profile.

Types Of Customer Profiling

Demographic

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Demographics would be the actual characteristics of your customers which can be used to understand what drives their behavior.

They include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Occupation
  • Income
  • Education
  • Family status

If you’re like us in the B2B space, you might also want to throw in other characteristics like their company size, what industry they’re in, and possibly how well they’re doing. All these can be gotten from documented sources like their annual reports.

Psychographic

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Psychographic profiling adds to the demographics in that while the latter is more concrete and can be sussed out, psychographics is more internal, hence the “Psycho” which refers to the psychological aspect.

These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Lifestyle
  • Goals
  • Pains
  • Habits
  • Values
  • Interests

This analysis helps understand the motivation and wants of the customer. It’ll help you better see the triggering events that made them decide to purchase your product or service.

From a marketing and advertising perspective, this information can help craft a more valuable narrative that’s attractive to them, empathise with their situation, and develop new products or services that cater to their needs.

Here’s a quick illustration to recap demographics vs psychographics.

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Behavioural

This type of profiling goes a step further from just the psychology of your customers, but looks at how they act or react.

These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Engagement
  • Readiness to Buy
  • Purchasing History
  • Product Usage
  • Satisfaction
  • Loyalty or Account Age
  • Attention Required

From a customer support perspective, these sorts of profiles can provide useful insights which can help service teams relate better to the customer and interact with them more satisfactorily. 

This translates into higher customer satisfaction and retaining them becomes easier as a result.

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Geography

Geographical factors into where you are selling or targeting and when location affects how customers interact with your brand.
These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • City
  • Area
  • Region
  • Country

These bits of information can help you think through logistics, support, and marketing strategies.

Steps To Constructing A Good & Detailed Customer Profile

Now we will go through the steps you’ll need to craft your very own customer profile using the types of profiles mentioned earlier.

Start Broad

We begin by looking at your business itself. What kind of problem/need/want are you trying to serve?

Then we go to the first aspect - Demographics.

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Age

Your product or service, who is it really for? Who are you trying to serve?

Let’s start with something that you’ll know right off the bat - what age range is your product meant to serve?

Gender

Are you selling something that is gender-biassed? If so, another element would be whether you are selling to a man or a woman or a gender-fluid person?

Education

Would you want customers who are university educated, those with diplomas, fresh out of high school?

Occupation

Are they working? Perhaps part-time freelancers who are making their way through university or would they be full-time professionals or even labourers?

Income

What you want next is to know whether your product or service can be afforded by your target customers.

For this one, you’ll need to dare to dream a little bit and say that you want to get a customer who can spare at least $500 or so every month after deducting rent, food, and other expenses.

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Put It Together

We’ll put everything into practice now and whip up a customer profile for ourselves using the information we’ve talked about.

Perhaps our business is selling wireless earphones that are a more affordable option than the Apple AirPods.

Our selling price is $50 per unit.

We want to target a consumer who is in the age range of 18 to 25 years of age. We could go older, but chances are, the older they get, the more money they’d have accrued and thus for them to buy actual brand-named products won’t be too much of an issue.

For our example, we want to go for all genders in that age range.

Education and occupation-wise, we’d ideally want those who have already graduated and/or have started working. These are the ones who don’t have to ask their parents for the money to get our product.

As for their income, since our product is $50, as long as they have a disposable income of around $2,000 a month, that should be enough to cover their rent, living expenses, and afford our earphones.

There you have it, our first portion of the customer profile is done - We are a lifestyle brand looking to serve a person in the age range of 18-25 years of age who is working and has a monthly disposable income of $2,000.

Of course, you might want to put it up in a nice chart so that things are easier to see.

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Get More Specific

Getting that first part of the surface level, broad strokes of your customer profile is important. From there, we can delve in even deeper and paint a finer picture of them.

This is where Psychographics come in.

Lifestyle

While from our example, we are a lifestyle brand, the question here is how does our brand fit into the customer’s lifestyle. Are they outgoing, are they active, will our designs fit into their aesthetics, etc.

Pains

If they are not able to afford Apple’s AirPods and are looking to us for alternatives, then price or affordability would be one of their pains. 

Another pain could be that they do not like the in-ear design of the new AirPods which can get rather uncomfortable after prolonged use while ours is the conventional earbud-shaped ones. Let’s chalk this one up to comfort.

Habits

Do they need to have music or some form of white noise playing in the background to sleep more comfortably?

Interests

Do they like jogging, are they music fans, do they like swimming?

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Put It Together

Our earphones are used by an 18-25-year-old person who has a job and a disposable income of $2,000 per month. They like jogging and listening to music while doing so and must have something playing in the background while they sleep. Most importantly, they do not want to splurge an exorbitant amount of money on Apple AirPods which may be uncomfortable after prolonged usage.

At this point, you could choose to go even deeper to build out the customer profile, and the more detailed you get, the better.

However, we are quite satisfied with the example profile that we have made so far and we’ll move on with a customer persona.

Customer Profile vs Customer Persona

Customer persona will most likely be a term that you may have heard bantered around a lot in your research for customer profiles. 

We understand that it may be easy to confuse one for the other.

The main difference is that the customer profile is all characteristics that your general target market will have. A customer persona is a more specific example of that target customer.

Yes, customer, singular. You will now take all the characteristics you have amassed in your brainstorming sessions and distill them into one single customer who is the ideal persona that you want to buy your product.

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For us, we’ll name this person a gender-neutral name like Jessie since we cater to all genders.

Jessie is a 23-year-old who freshly graduated from law school. They have student loans to repay. They are currently living with their parents and, so, can save on rent every month.

They got offered a job in a law firm with a starting basic salary of $3,000 a month.

They often go jogging in the evening and would listen to music whenever they do.

At night, while trying to sleep, they listen to audiobooks.

For social media, Jessie likes scrolling through Instagram.

They have an average monthly expenditure of $1500 on repayment of student loans, food, transportation, and setting aside some savings. This still leaves $1500 that they can spend.

For the fun of things, let’s make Jessie a spendthrift who is sensible with her spending habits.

Now, all this imagination is fun, but where’s the utility of it, you might be asking.

It’s actually like so - a customer persona or profile is only useful if you can make use of it.

Testing Your Customer Persona

With your persona in hand, you now test it against reality and see how you stack up.

First things first. Is there a way for you to get a hold of demographic information from your current customers? If you can, see how many of the checkboxes Jessie ticks in relation to your current clientele.

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If you do not have a way to get a hold of that demographic information, then look into ways of getting hold of it. A simple Google form survey would help. Just get your customers to fill in a quick survey with the information you require - age, gender, past times, etc.

You could also augment your subscription sign-up list to include these particulars.

Conclusion

After all of that and you’ve got the information from your customers to build your customer profile, you compare it to your customer persona. If they line up to a T, then you know they are the same.

If they do not, then go back and reverse-engineer your persona based on the qualitative data you’ve received from your real audience.

This helps you get into the shoes of your customers and craft messages that appeal to them more significantly or that they can connect with more easily.

Posted on 28 April 2022