When creating your marketing and sales strategy, which basically includes engaging with customers at some point, it’s important to have a clear picture on who these customers ideally may be, what problems they may be encountering and what they may need to solve those problems. By focussing on creating customer profiles first, you can make better informed decisions for your business later.
In order to create your ideal customer profiles, or customer personas, three possible approaches are typically used by marketing departments: the psychographic, the consumer typology, and the consumer characteristics. These customer profiling methods will help you design your business around who your customers are, and help you make better, customer centric decisions.
Customer profiling is a way of describing your customers, based on factual information, such as their subject interests, buying behaviours or customer service interactions. These then serve as marketing and sales touch points for reaching out to ideal customers. Customer profiling is the process that will allow you to portrait the customer types that will actually interact with your product or service.
Customer profiling can tailor products or services for more specific groups of people, rather than going broadly and hoping to capture more market share. In knowing exactly who your customer is, you can develop an edge over competitors since you can tailor your products or service to have more impactful features and attract more people who are likely to buy it.
Customer profiling is done by dividing customers into groups with similar characteristics and goals. E.g., if the goal is to purchase a computer online, there might not be too much of a difference in how an unmarried professional buys it, and a married ICT teacher.
Both would know how to use e.g. the apple store, and will understand the laptop characteristics in choosing an exact model that fits their needs. They would also have more purchasing power compared to someone like a high school student.
Depending on your strategy, there are three methods of profiling customers based on their decision-making styles:
The psychographic method takes a look at a customer’s lifestyles to define market segments. Many components plays a role in using the psychographic customer profiling method, such as interests, activities, social class and general values.
The customer profiling typology approach segregates consumers based on their motivations, their mindsets, and how to engage them. Marketing usually defines four types of consumers: loyal consumers, discount consumers, impulsive consumers, and need-based consumers.
The consumer characteristics method asks what traits influence buying decisions. There are a variety of consumer characteristics, but there are three common ones that define modern consumers.
Creating a customer profile begins by having your marketing team gather information on existing, satisfied customers, then trying to target new prospects with matching profiles of your target group. You can begin customer profiling by:
In the end, the whole exercise of making customer profiles is to tailor your campaigns to find best possible customers. If they reveal not to convert well, within your marketing campaigns, your customer profile must be wrong.
The reverse can be done to find an ideal customer for your business as well. In gathering customer data of your ideal customer, your sales team will be able to better identify similar customers who are a better fit for your business. You can match the customer profile of each successful sale to understand who your business should be looking for.
If you can assign typical ads and content to certain customer profiles; and you measure all interactions from incoming leads; by association, you can tell which lead is meeting which customer profiles.
Another indirect yet important use case in marketing is to know how to communicate with target customer profiles, or personas, in order to maximize conversions. Or for sales, knowing which leads meets a certain profile, means knowing how best to talk with him to best convert him into a paying customer. Customer feedback can help at some point, but that’s only possible after identification.
In order to create your ideal customer profiles, or customer personas, three possible approaches are typically used by marketing departments: al social ads, campaigns, web-, blog- and help pages, events and even seemingly random customer data to certain customer profiles; and you measure all interactions from incoming leads; by association, you can tell which lead is meeting which customer profiles, allowing you to tailor your conversations towards maximizing conversions.
Customer profiling systems have greatly evolved over time, so there is no longer any need for marketing to conduct manual research to create and segment profiles. These profiles are however often based on professional email addresses or IP addresses, none of them related to your specific business and for which no GDPR/CCPA consent was given!
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