That’s why we’re following up with this article on analyzing your customer profiles, and implementing them into your strategy.
What is a customer profile?
A customer profile is a data-led profile of your organization’s ideal customers. It’s a layered profile including details about certain demographics such as age and gender, customers’ likes, dislikes, behavioral and attitudinal data.
The benefits of customer profiling for your marketing strategy
A marketing campaign can be the most creative one ever—if it doesn’t match with what your customers want to see, it won’t be effective.
Everything you develop, from product to messaging, becomes better when it’s tailored to a customer profile, and can lower acquisition costs.
Learn how to resonate with your ideal customers
Paint a true picture of your perfect customers’ thoughts, attitudes and behaviors with Attest. Reach 125 million people from 58 countries in days, not weeks.
Dive into your existing customer base to get a more in-depth understanding of why they are your customers, and what categories you can divide them into.
You can use surveys to define how different demographic segments find, buy and use your product or service.
The end goal of this is that you understand which customers drive the most value for your business, enjoy the products most, and have the highest customer lifetime value/ROI.
Don’t forget potential customers
You don’t need to limit yourself to your existing customers—especially if you’re trying to spread your wings in new markets. Remember, attracting your potential customers is a key step in the growth and survival of any consumer brand.
You can use customer profiling surveys in uncharted territory as well, for instance by surveying an audience that you don’t serve yet, but buys from brands much like yours—and are possibly not happy buying from your competitors.
It’s important to note that your existing customers are the best source of information to create accurate customer profiles, but they might not be your ideal customers. Ultimately, that’s who you want to get to know.
Customer profiling is a lot about debunking assumptions you have of your customers. Attest users Little Moons discovered this first-hand when they dove into their target customers’ preferences.
In our case, our Instagram following (and our subsequent TikTok craze) would suggest our audience were late teens/early 20s women. But Attest consumer profiling identified that the people driving most of the volume in premium ice cream are actually affluent 30+ year olds with the disposable income to habitually purchase a premium product like Little Moons.
When do you know if you really know someone? Without getting too philosophical, here are four types of consumer profiling basis we recommend you to cover in a customer profile.
This is the most straightforward category, with things like age, gender, job and income.
Where are your customers based? Where do they shop, and where do they travel?
Time to get a little more personal: ask about their habits, hobbies, interests and life goals.
Why do people do what they do? What drives their decision-making process?
Questions to answer in your customer profile
If you have the following customer data, you can start reaping the benefits of working with a customer profile in your marketing:
What is the age of your customers?
What kind of jobs do they have?
Where do they live? Are they city people, in the countryside or nomads?
What is their main reason for buying a product like yours?
How do they behave online? What social media platforms do they use? Which other sources do they use?
How do they behave offline? Where do they meet people? How and where do they spend their spare time?
What do they splurge on? And what do they try to save on?
What motivates them?
How do they inform themselves?
How do they like to shop?
Make it even more personal
After you know this, you can make it more specific: what makes them tick? What frustrates them? Which celebrities, if any, do they admire—and why?
Another important one: what do they consider ‘funny’? It might seem futile information—you just want to get your products and services sold—but it’s more than just some trivia.
Consider this: we did a bit of digging ourselves, and found that 48.5% of people—more than any other sentiment—want brands to make them laugh and entertain them.
This means you really need to get to know your customers first, and then start building great relationships. Want to know more about what consumers across markets are saying? Check out the six consumer trends we uncovered.
How to conduct a customer profiling analysis in 7 steps
The customer data is in: time to create a profile on that ideal customer of yours!
But how do you do this efficiently, and what do you do with that information?
We’ll explain how to make your customer data come to life and create customer profiles that can be practically used in your business. Here’s how you analyze customer profile data, step by step.
Explore the data
Once all the data from your customer survey is in, it’s time to familiarize yourself with it. Don’t draw conclusions from the first thing you see: look at things that stand out, any gaps you find, and find ways to visualize the data.
If you’re using Attest for your customer profile survey, we’ll make things easy for you. It’s easy to see how people have answered, as the data is instantly visualized in easy-to-understand charts and interfaces.
But the next step is where the fun really begins.
2. Find the right filters
What do different demographics have in common when it comes to buying behavior, and how do they differ?
Now it’s time to start playing around with the filters and find the overlap in customers, but also the differences that ultimately segment them.
In our dashboard, you can easily get creative with demographics like region, education level or household income.
We recommend filtering by response to see how that influences respondents’ answers to other questions.
We’ve enabled you to filter by high-volume consumers to see how their responses differ from sporadic shoppers. This helps you to get to know them better and to gain a better understanding of where you should be distributing or advertising your products for maximum impact.
3. Draw up customer profiles
Ideally, your customer profile will consist of more than just numbers and answers. We fully recommend you create customer profiles, with personas, perhaps even (stock) photos of people and stories around them.
Creating narratives like these is of massive help for everyone in your business, because they no longer have to think of ‘consumers’ but can picture real people.
By making your customer profiles as real as possible, you enable your people to communicate with them more effectively.
So give your ideal customer a name, a face, a story. Do this for every clear, distinct profile that you find—the ones consisting of your ideal customer, as well as current customers that you’re not interested in serving. We’ll explain why in the next step.
4. Choose which profiles to focus on (and which ones not to)
Why would we recommend you to also map out the customer profiles of target customers you’re not really interested in? It’s because it makes it all the more clear who you’re trying to serve.
Depending on your company size and what your target market looks like, we recommend you to choose an X number of ideal customers to focus on. Their profiles will be important to familiarize yourselves with.
But to make it more clear who they are, also lay out profiles of people who don’t really fit the bill, and explain why. This will enable your sales reps, marketers, and product developers to create laser sharp offers, messaging and products.
5. Connect the customer profiles throughout your business
Customer profiles help keep everyone on the same page—so make sure everyone has access to them.
Everyone in your organization should have access to the customer profile analysis that came out of your last customer surveys. No matter what department you’re in, it helps knowing which ideal customer you’re waking up for every morning.
6. Regularly update your customer profiles
We’re all changing, aren’t we? Your ideal customer gets influenced by the things around them: people, trends, things happening in today’s world, your competitors… you name it.
Don’t just make a bunch of customer profiles and customer segments and use them for life. Assume that your current target audience is evolving.
This means you should regularly reassess those customer profiles to keep an eye on who your most profitable customers are, and if you’re still basing your decisions on the right customer data.
Consumer behavior changes all the time: they start earning more or less money, have a change in priorities, they move cities or start a new job where they’re surrounded with people who influence them differently.
7. Recognize trends and predict changes
This doesn’t mean your collected data is useless: in fact, when closely tracking the changes you can start predicting purchasing decisions, and with enough data gathered you can try to find trends in user behaviors and other key metrics.
So, how often should you be checking in? No need to launch a new survey every two weeks. We’d recommend you to check in every quarter to see how the shift in focus on a specific customer profile has paid off in your KPIs.
Every half year, take a look at the data that’s been collected and the customers you’re actually serving. Do a little spring-cleaning and clear out what isn’t relevant, to keep everyone focused.
And every year, you can give customer profiling another go. Like we said, don’t ditch the old customer profile analysis and throw the well-crafted buyer personas in the trash: keep them to analyze what has changed and why, to predict future changes.
The insights have been invaluable. I’ve used Attest to understand which messages resonate most with consumers, and also to understand what consumer usage and attitudes are towards new healthcare trends.
Rebecca Porter, Consumer Research Manager at Boots
Turning customer profiles into conversions
How do you take those customer profiles and actually boost conversions with them? We’ve got some ideas on that, which we’ll share below. Feel free to steal them.
Use your customer profile analysis for more accurate lead qualifying
Stop wasting time on people who look like your ideal customer, but are really just three goats in a trench coat.
Your sales team focuses on the leads and prospects that come out of your sales pipeline—but of course, they can’t seal the deal with everyone.
Some people turn out to not be as interested as some of your metrics predicted. The result? Your sales reps lose a lot of time talking to people they’ll never convince, no matter how good their tactics are.
While that will always be a risk, customer profiles can be of great help when deciding which leads to focus on.
Segment leads are based on more than just demographic information, and also look at consumer behavior to create better sales forecasts—and ultimately lure in more sales.
Create customer journeys for each profile
From tailored content to different channels to buy from, make your customer journey match every customer profile.
Look at it this way: everyone regularly buys toilet paper, right? But some people just grab it during their weekly supermarket big shop. Others prefer having it delivered in bulk, so they never have to think about it.
Some people buy clothes because they saw a dress in a fashion magazine, others because they saw it on Instagram. There’s no typical purchase process that works for everyone. (You didn’t think customer segmentation would be that simple, did you?)
The bottom line? Create marketing campaigns that match consumer behavior. Make it easy for every customer to inform, analyze and buy the way they want, and you’ll have them hooked forever.
Customer profiles assist your sales team in sealing the deal
The better you know your ideal customers, the shorter sales cycle will be—and the more you’ll sell.
Give your sales team access to and control of your customer profile analysis: they need to know the pain points of the people they talk to or design a sales page for.
Give them insight into what makes these potential customers tick, and watch how they boost your conversion with to-the-point conversations and copy.
Create a brand that people want to buy from
Working with customer profiling doesn’t just boost conversions, if done right it can also drastically lower your acquisition costs.
By creating a better understanding of what people are looking for, not only in a product, but in a brand that fits their personality and lifestyle, you learn how to attract the type of customers that come back time and time again.
Your brand positioning should be at the intersection of where most of your desired ideal customer profiles meet.
You can’t create a separate positioning for every individual customer profile or segment, because this will lead to confusion and ultimately a brand that is not easy to recognize or remember— which is the complete opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.
Your marketing team will be able to use important data points from your analysis to create campaigns that resonate with people, making your brand the one that is top-of-mind, and everyone’s go-to place.
Knowledge is power, but only if you use it right
Customer data itself will not improve your strategy—knowing how to gather the right data and put it to use in the right way will.
It’s time to drill into the most valuable source of data you have and get started with customer profiling. More importantly: learn how to really nail the analysis part.
Not sure where or how to get started? Take a look at our consumer profiling templates and make them your own.
Start your customer profiling with Attest
Paint an accurate picture of your customers with consumer profiling from Attest. You can reach 125 million people from 58 in hours, not weeks or months.
When all the data has come in, start playing around with different filters and discover overlapping segments. Based on similarities in key challenges, user behaviors and demographic information, create focused customer profiles. Make them as human as possible, and share them all throughout your organization.
What are the key factors in customer profiling?
It’s crucial that you gather information that can actually be implemented in your marketing strategies and sales process. Make it practical, and find out where people get their information, what motivates your target audience and what their pain points are related to your product or service.
What should a customer analysis include?
Your customer analysis should be a good mix of demographic information, data on behavior and insights into the attitudes, feelings, needs and pain points of your buyer persona.
Customer Research Principal
Elliot joined Attest in 2019 and has dedicated his career to working with brands carrying out market research. At Attest Elliot takes a leading role in the Customer Research Team, to support customers as they uncover insights and new areas for growth.