A customer profile provides valuable information that gives online businesses more insight and direction in the marketing strategy. Customer profiles enable digital businesses to target their sales audience more effectively, leading to larger customer bases and increased sales. In this article, Rory Angold, a results-driven Executive Vice President, discusses the process of creating a customer profile.
1. Study Your Existing Customer Base
The best source of information about target customers is often the group of existing customers from your database. The people who currently do business with you can provide valuable feedback about what causes them to buy your products and services. Online analytic data about shopping and purchasing information is becoming more important all the time in understanding existing customer demands and preferences. However, old fashioned direct interaction with customers is often still the top source of insightful information about your existing customers. Surveys, rewards programs, social media, and other methods of direct interaction provide ways for customers to tell you what is working and what isn’t with existing marketing strategies.
2. Develop a Broad Description of Ideal Customers
The key here is to keep your thinking broad — you are looking for a general description of prospective customers from 30,000 feet. You do not need to have specific demographics in mind, but instead, you should profile what your company offers and what kinds of people are interested in what you have to sell. You may find that you have several different groups of potential customers. For example, if you sell health insurance services, one customer type would be a human resources manager for a small company, and another would be a self-employed contractor responsible for their own insurance coverage.
3. Collect and Analyze Data
There are many software applications available for collecting and analyzing sales and marketing data that will assist your efforts to profile and address target customers. Patterns in sales behavior and responses to different advertising and marketing techniques can show which customers are responsive to different methods in varying locations and times. Customer preferences and buying habits will typically help locate new business from potential customers with similar habits and demands.
4. Model Your Customer Profile From Your Most Profitable Revenue Streams
Businesspeople and marketers are all familiar with the saying that you spend 20% of your time making 80% of your money. When you understand where your company’s most profitable sales are generated, you can focus on developing more business of the same type. The obvious implication is that the customers in the most lucrative areas should form the profile for targeting new customers. As every company grows, its profit profile changes over time. It is critical that a customer profile anticipates where the company’s sales are heading in the near and long term.
5. Maintain Your Customer Profile as an Ongoing Project
Always remember that a solid customer profile is a moving target at all times. As your company’s capacities and goals shift, so will customer demographics and demands. All of your market research and current customer sales and feedback data should continuously be considered in how your target audience is identified and marketed to. Stay flexible and resilient when demographics or market conditions change.
About Rory Angold
Rory Angold has two decades of work experience in leadership and executive positions. He last managed field teams in California, Nevada, Hawaii, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming for Zurich Direct Markets, a $1.5B business. Mr. Angold, now serving as Executive Vice President at United Car Care is a results-driven specialist in automotive dealer consulting, training, and reinsurance with a proven track record of developing people, putting together a winning team with an infectious culture that empowers people to want to win.