Customer profiling is a great way to get a detailed portrait of your current customer base to help you make smarter, more effective marketing decisions as you engage your customers on a more personal level.
Why Customer Profiles?
Without the advantage of using actual data to know customers on this detailed level, marketers are left to base campaigns and messages more on personal opinion. In this situation, effective marketing becomes extremely difficult to manage, measure, and keep profitable, resulting in less-than-stellar business results.
That’s why you need to begin building your own customer profiles as soon as possible. Because if your competition gets there first, they will fly right past you.
What You’ll Find in Customer Profiles
First let’s discuss the various elements of a comprehensive customer profile. It will be important for you to collect as many of these elements as possible to achieve the best possible marketing ideas and results.
Merriam-Webster defines demographics as, “The statistical characteristics of human populations (such as age or income) used specially to identify markets.” These characteristics commonly include data such as:
- Marital Status
- Education Level
- Employment Status
- Physical location, such as zip code
Psychographics describe consumers on psychological attributes such as personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles. They are meant to uncover the deeper motivations and interests of your customers. Psychographics may include things like:
- Musical Taste
- Lifestyle Choices
- Food and Drink Preferences
- Personality Traits
Geographic information can be very valuable, especially to businesses with multiple locations. By learning in which city, state or zip code a person resides, you can send different messaging and offers by region. Some companies even bring it down to the neighborhood or street level. Geographic data can be a great way to help ensure an optimal marketing campaign.
For instance, in the winter months, you wouldn’t want to promote your line of snow shovels to those living in South Florida, nor would you want to promote your line of shorts and tank tops to those living in Minnesota.
On a more local level, you could promote a new store opening or only send a particular marketing message to those living within a certain distance from your store.
In terms of marketing, behavior data is some of the most powerful information you can obtain. By understanding your customer behavior patterns, you can create powerful marketing campaigns based on that behavior.
This data includes things like:
- Purchase Patterns
- Online Behavior
- Presence Analytics — Offline Behavior
With the additional use of WiFi technology, you can gather more location-based data, such as:
- Entry and Exit Times
- Favorite Visit Times/Days
- Dwell Times
- Return Rates
- Per Person Average and
- Customer Lifetime Value
With this kind of data and the right tools, you’ll have the ability to set up automated, triggered marketing campaigns that will send marketing messages to specified customer groups when certain behavioral criteria are met.
Together with the other elements of a comprehensive customer profile, the marketing campaigns you can create will become limitless and extremely targeted to specific audiences, allowing you to increase customer value, customer frequency, customer spend, and your overall bottom line.
Collecting customer profile information can help you identify your ideal audiences and boost your marketing efforts tremendously by giving you detailed information about the purchasing and lifestyle habits of the audiences you’re trying to reach.
Using Customer Profiles For Marketing
Customer profiles are ideally used to increase customer frequency, customer spend, customer satisfaction, and the overall quantity of your customer base. Always remember, you’re creating customer profiles to be able to engage with and better market to your customer segments.
Start by spending some time reviewing individual customer profiles. Before long, you’ll begin to see similar profiles that you can start grouping together. These may be close to the ideal customer or specific segments you already had in mind, or you may be completely surprised as to what you discover.
Eventually, you’ll have a much clearer view of the various segments of demographics, psychographics, and behavior patterns within your current customer base. This is when you can begin creating your list of general customer segments, or personas.
These are the personas you will use when brainstorming, creating, implementing and measuring your marketing campaigns.
Customer Segmentation Tips
As you’re going through this process, ask yourself these questions and note your answers:
- What kind of action do I want this customer to take?
- What is the best way to reach this customer?
- What kind of deals or promotions would interest this customer?
- What kind of deals and promotions would this customer NOT be interested in?
- What new products or services might engage this customer?
- What are this customer’s pain points? Why do they need what I offer?
- How can I attract and engage more customers like this?
- What type of imagery would engage this customer?
Now that you have your customer segments properly defined, and you have an idea of the marketing messages and promotions you want to send to them, it’s time to get started.
Don’t forget that you’re not just targeting current customers. You should also be seeking out new lookalike prospects online and targeting them in an effective manner using the data you’ve collected.
These prospects should have a higher probability of becoming a new customer, providing a much more cost-effective means of acquiring new customers.
Why You Need To Get Started Now
If you're not taking advantage of customer data, you should begin collecting customer profile information as soon as possible. Otherwise, you are leaving money on the table as your competitors invest in these tool sets and pass you by.
These practices can vastly improve your marketing efforts, lower customer acquisition costs, and give you detailed insight into who your customers really are. You’ll be able to make much smarter decisions as to what areas of your current marketing strategies can be tested for improvement, and how you can create new, more effective and engaging campaigns.
Basing marketing decisions on a hunch or an opinion can have devastating effects on the profitability of your business. By using correctly obtained customer profiles, you’ll get accurate data on your customer demographics and behavior, allowing you to make data-driven decisions, drive company growth and build a much larger base of loyal, more frequent customers.
To learn about the monetary value of customer profiles and how they can be applied to restaurant and retail business, download the whitepaper below, "The Value of Customer Profiles."