5 Simple Tips For Customer Profile Success

April 26, 2011

in Business

customer profile successCould you give a detailed profile of your key customers

or customer group in 60 seconds?

That is apart from some demographic information. If you can, that is fantastic.

If you can’t then you could be missing out and making the marketing of your brand that much harder to do.

The reason is based on common sense. The more you know about your customers the easier it is to have strong relationships.  Just like it is with your friends in your personal life if you think about it.

The deeper the understanding the less you are relying on guesswork for your brand positioning, key messages, product or service development etc.

Here are 5 simple tips for success:

Take your time

Unless you conduct research it will take time to build comprehensive profiles of your key customers. The first step is to write down what you want to include such as their buying behaviour, interests, influencers, attitudes towards your brand and the market.

Keep it real

Don’t guess or assume you know as it can lead you in the wrong direction with the marketing of your brand.

As you find out the information the similarities of your key customers will become obvious. This is what will make the difference when communicating with them and attracting others with a similar profile.

Learn to observe

Listening is important; however, it is the power of observation that can help you work out what the true insights are that will lead to stronger relationships and sales.

The observations cover their behaviour and what they think and feel not only about your brand but also about the market you compete in. If they are online then you will find they are leaving hints that help you understand them more.

Use the data

It is one thing to get the data however unless you use it is complete waste of time. Remember as you gain the information and you have a key customer profile you do need to check it against all elements regarding the marketing of your brand.

For example you may find that there are opportunities to refine or change the products or services you sell that will increase the buying frequency.

Don’t put it off

You may think you are too busy to do this. In reality the earlier you start building and using the customer profile information the quicker you will be more effective with the marketing of your brand.

The last point is to make sure you update the profile information as customer’s attitudes and behaviour can change over time.

Do you have customer profiles for your brand?

solarpanel April 28, 2011 at 12:20 am

Funny stuff about profiling, when we sat down to do this we realised our customers often have caravans. So, our profile became: environmentally conscious solar aware male 40-50 WITH CARAVAN. hilarious.

But then we started thinking is this a true characteristic of the profile? For example, I’m not sure why our customers are likely to have caravans – maybe just this age group is likely to have caravans, and not just our customers.

Susan Oakes April 28, 2011 at 1:34 am

Hi Thomas,

Is the caravan characteristic only for your brand or do you know if it is common for all brands and probably a dumb question but are caravan owners more environmentally aware? Liked the way you highlighted that you were a certified installer. It would give your potential customers peace of mind.

Marlee April 27, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Hey Susan,
I have done this exercise and I can vouch for the power in it. Not to mention it makes developing content for my website very easy. I’ve gone so far as to name each of buyer profiles and when I create content I imagine I’m writing just for them. This is an exercise I highly recommend!

Susan Oakes April 27, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Hi Marlee,

It is great you have done this. When you say buyer profiles are they based on the customers you have as well as the ones you want to attract? The reason I asked this is in my corporate days we did a lot of segmentation research and usually found 2 key groups to target. The researcher gave them names and it really does help to quickly get a picture of them based on the data. One group i still remember were the Romantics and they loved the whole idea of the romance of travel.

Tia Peterson April 27, 2011 at 7:56 pm

This has really gotten me thinking. On the way to go pick up my son today, I’ll try and make the customer profile precise enough to get down to 60 seconds!

Do you have a customer profile template?

Tia Peterson April 27, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Here is one, but there is no way it could be replayed in 60 seconds: http://www.technologystudent.com/pdfs/custprf2.pdf

Susan Oakes April 27, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Hi Tia,

I just made up the 60 secs as many small businesses could only give a brief description which took about 20 sec to say. The time isn’t important and the whole idea is to get a profile that captures all the important elements that differentiates them from other groups. I do have a different template and it is based more on current customers or information that has been research. I will dig it out for you.

Sherryl Perry @ internet business strategy April 27, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Susan, This sounds like a new version of having an “elevator” speech. This would be a good exercise for all of us to try. I believe I do know who my niche target customer is but can I describe their profile in 60-seconds? I don’t know.

Susan Oakes April 27, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Hi Sherryl,

Hadn’t thought of it that way. If you do the exercise let us know how you go.

Fran Aslam From Online writer April 27, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Wow what a wonderful post on branding, it summarizes the art of branding as a whole. I just love this content writing full of juice and beneficial to the readers.

Fran A

Susan Oakes April 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Thanks Fran, glad you liked the article.

Sandy April 27, 2011 at 10:10 am

Great points, Susan!
Without customer profiles we don’t know who we are targeting and want to attract. Once you create those profiles, it becomes easier to craft your messaging and find those awesome customers!

Susan Oakes April 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Hi Sandy,

It certainly does make it easier to craft your message and the tone of the message. Much better than guessing.

Dennis Edell@ Direct Sales Marketing April 26, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Excellent tips Susan. I’ll be studying this, as my own e-commerce site will be going up soon. :)

Susan Oakes April 27, 2011 at 2:20 am

Hi Dennis,

Glad you found them helpful and best of luck with your e-commerce site. Let us know when it is up and running.

James Pruitt April 26, 2011 at 9:25 pm

I totally agree. I am often amazed at how many people are trying to run a business and have no idea who their target customers are. they think in terms of some quick search for a keyword, and that is about all the market research that they ever do. Thanks for sharing these valuable tips.

Susan Oakes April 27, 2011 at 2:22 am

Hi James,

I know and it is a shame that just by doing some work up front can save lots of time after the launch. Also what I know is you do need to keep tabs on your profiles and update them when necessary.

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