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A good way to look at consumer profiling is to think about concentric circles.
You start with a really big circle—this is a piece of research that probably includes a large number of respondents. This group might be nationally representative—a.k.a ‘nat rep’—meaning that the sample is made up of people from as many walks of life as possible, to represent the views of the nation as a whole.
The research itself might not be very long—perhaps a handful of questions—but its purpose is to narrow down this big audience into segments you can more easily define as, for example, current customers, potential customers and people who’ll never be customers.
Once you’ve gathered that initial data from your big circle, you’ll start to get a clearer image of which groups of consumers are relevant for your particular business’s research needs.
And if you’re trying to find a super niche audience you can just keep adding neatly defined circles to your beautiful concentric circles, so that you can narrow down your respondent base to the consumers you’re really interested in.
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