Don’t Be a Creep: Five Steps to Customer Profiling

Customer Profiling Helps Companies Define and Achieve Their Market Goals. Here's How to Do It.

Jul 19, 2019 | 0 comment

If you ever talked about the nuances of a World War II battle to a friend who doesn’t care about history, talked about baseball to someone who doesn’t watch sports, or tried to discuss a piece of artwork with someone uninterested, you know this truth well. 

One has to know his audience.

It’s important in making small talk. It’s essential in marketing and customer acquisition. 

In order to successfully acquire, keep, and satisfy clients a company must have a clear idea of who the clients are.

That is where the process of customer profiling comes in. 

What is customer profiling?

Customer profiling is a process during which a company creates a depiction of its customers. The profiles then grouped together based on similar characteristics. The company then uses these profile groups to make key decisions in terms of its products, services, designs etc.

While a clear picture of existing customers is a must, a company also needs to know who its ideal customer is as well. 

Understanding what your existing customer types are and why they are buying from you allows you to see their individual needs. 

Knowing your ideal customer types gives you an opportunity to target specific groups that might not be in your customer base right now. 

Your customer data is not simply a guide for constructing marketing messages. Most companies find that incorporating this vital information into their decision-making provides outsize returns. They can now craft products or introduce services which they know will serve a need. 

Not knowing to whom your products and services must appeal is like crossing the street with your eyes closed.

How Customer Profiling Works

Customer profiling proceeds differently for each client and industry. 

Here are five steps to successful customer profiling that will help you come up with a portrait of your client base and help you shape services and products based on those clients’ needs.

Steps to Customer Profiling

1. Identify the goal of your product or service.

What is the problem your company’s faces that you want to solve? Do you want to attract more visitors to your site? Increase conversions on your landing page? Get more people to sign up for your free trial? Provide better customer service to your existing clients?

Keeping the goal of the final solution in mind, your customer profiling process will be more focused and efficient. 

2. Create the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Creating the ICP provides a clear picture of what you are seeking in a client. By setting forth your ideal client expectation you are setting in motion a process of getting these clients on board.

There are several templates and guides available to accomplish this step.

Also, sking the right questions is important, so make sure you set out with a list that supports the goals you set for yourself in Step 1. 

The questions involved will vary, though ultimately the goals are usually the same: collect their demographic interviews, and then determine from their perspective how well your business is serving their needs and where there are untapped opportunities.

3. Collect Information on Existing Customers

This is a crucial step in customer profiling because you can’t really decide where you’re going without seeing where you’ve been. Perhaps you’re already hitting your ideal market and just need a niche focus. Perhaps you want to expand on the existing base. Again, always keep your initial goal in mind.

In this step, it’s easy to get a bit creepy and overstep the boundaries of privacy

The key to staying within the boundaries of appropriateness is to use information that your clients shared directly with you or as part of your onboarding process. 

Using ticketing management software can give you a lot of information on each client and his history with your brand. 

Other tools like surveys and email questionnaires are also great ways to get direct feedback from your clients. 

Social listening is a useful technique used by many marketing to learn about current trends and clients’ needs. 

4. Implement customer Profile into CX Journey Map/Create Journey Map

Now that you have all the information about the customers – potential, ideal, and current – you may use to enhance another great tool you should be using – customer journey map

The map, which is a visual representation of everything your clients are doing, seeing, and feeling as they interact with your brand. 

 

5. Use the Map and the Profile to Target Marketing

From here, it’s up to the business. 

These profiles let firms find what differentiates them from the competition in the eyes of the customers, and dozens of other useful points. 

Equipped with profiles a company can figure out an appropriate communications strategy which will deliver the best possible marketing message to the right type of consumer, at the best possible time. 

Similarly, companies often find new opportunities for selling their products, creating new ones, or increasing sales in existing channels.

Here is an example. Having identified customer types, the business can now ask — what kind of TV shows and magazines will the customers read? What kind of marketing material would appeal to the most? What other brands do they consume?

Based on the answers to all of these questions, often new – and much more powerful – advertising strategies become obvious, and opportunities for joint venture deals reveal themselves.

Conclusion 

Customer profiling creates a picture of a company’s clientele. This picture, especially when used together with other techniques such as customer journey mapping, can allow a company to direct its marketing and development efforts in new and efficient ways.

How does customer profiling help your company succeed?