What is Customer Profiling?
You have a business, and chances are, your business offers various products and/or services that cater to different kinds of customers. Now, it’s convenient to just use the blanket marketing plan, the one-size-fits-all approach, where all marketing efforts are directed to the general target market. But convenient and efficient are two different things, and among the two, it’s the latter that gets you the ROI. So what do you do?
Here’s the thing: Business is like a game.
Let’s say it’s a basketball game. Your goal is to win as many games as possible, maybe become the champion. In order to do so, you prepare for your opponent – in this case, your market. But you don’t have just one opponent all season long – there are plenty of them, each bringing to the court a different kind of style, the same way that the market is made up of different kinds of customers, each with different attitudes. So what you do is classify your opponents according to some criteria and prepare a different set of plays for each kind of opponent in order to defeat them.
That’s customer profiling. It’s creating a specific portrait of your customers so you can craft a marketing strategy that best attracts them.
Why is it a Good Investment?
Again, it’s all about knowing the “enemy”, and your “enemy” here, the one you’re trying to win over, is the market. How can you fight and win if you don’t know who you are fighting, right? When you do this, you can prepare before the “game”, which is of course, better than adjusting on the fly.
Customer profiling is not just crucial to business — it may sometimes even make or break a business. Here are the benefits of customer profiling:
- Better Defines Customer Base – once you know your customer base, it is easier for you team to come up with the right approach to attract them
- Grows Revenue from a Segment – on a micro level, you can focus your marketing efforts on a specific segment of your market
- Provides Structure to a Marketing Plan – your team would understand what the ideal customer is looking for, what matters to them most and how best to speak to them
- Helps You Discover (other) Market Potential – an accurate profile of your customers allows you to see other market opportunities
- Improves Targeted Marketing – customer profiling allows you to direct your marketing efforts to those who are most likely to purchase your products
All these will:
- Improve Marketing ROI
- Reduce Direct Marketing Costs
- (Possibly) Introduce New Products/Services
- Save you money across the board
How to Effectively Profile your Customers
Here are the Five Criteria Used in Profiling Customers:
Demographics: Common demographics to consider include age, sex, ethnicity, occupation, education, marital status, etc.
Geographics: Where are your target customers? You can find your ideal customer by country, region, state, city, and so on. If you have several branches and are looking for customers close to a particular store, segmenting by geographic location is a non-negotiable.
Life Stages: People’s buying habits are influenced by which life stage they are in – a teener’s choice of clothes or services couldn’t possibly be anywhere similar to that of a retired teacher. Dig deeper into your demographics category and group ideal customers by which stage of life they are in.
Psychographics: Group together customers with shared interests, lifestyle choices, attitudes and similar mindsets.
Behaviors: You also have to know what motivates people to buy your product or avail of your services. Why do they want it? How often do they want it? Understanding how and why customers do what they do is important. Use CHAMP Methodology: Spot on Sales-Ready Leads with These Questions
Of course, let’s not forget the kind of industry you are in. Obviously, a business-to-business company should have a different approach compared with a business-to-consumer company.
If you’re a business-to-business outfit, then you would need to know:
- what department your customer belongs to
- whether they’re predominantly male or female (or a mix)
- how old they are
- what budgets they might have
- what challenges they are likely to be facing that your product or service could address
- what reasons they might have for buying/or not buying your product/service
If it’s a business-to-consumer outfit, you’d need to know:
- their age, sex, salaries, and spending habits
- the sorts of products and brands that would appeal to them
- how they like to shop or be approached
- what they might read
- where they might go
Knowing exactly what type of customers you want to sell your products to makes marketing a whole lot easier. And it doesn’t hurt that it will increase your chances of hitting that ROI, too. With a complete and accurate customer profile, you can now tailor your marketing strategy to the specific customers you want to attract.
Let us know what you think so we can help others. Your comments are welcome!
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