“A customer is the lifeblood of business” may feel like an old cliché but has never been more accurate. With so many businesses starting up everyday and competition intensifying in the business world, a business has to strive to secure a strong customer base.

Today, it’s no longer enough to have a large customer base. You have to go an extra mile to know your customers and their needs, creating a foundation of loyal brand advocates that enjoy your product/service. This is where the notion of the ideal customer profile comes in. You have to know your customers’ personas so that you deliver value to them and in turn, they deliver value to your business.      

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What is an ideal customer profile?

In a nutshell, an ideal customer profile is a way of describing a customer categorically to enhance and increase the ROI of marketing efforts. It is a model account whose features indicate which people would reap the most benefits from your offerings.

Key uses of a customer profile

  • It allows marketers to target a specific segment and hence increase the efficiency and success of marketing efforts. Marketers are able to focus on customers that are more likely to buy from them rather than on customers who are not interested.
  • Increases profits by targeting the right audience.
  • Helps you to position your products correctly to better appeal to your target audience.
  • Offers you valuable insights that may improve your marketing.

Building a customer profile

Before you start your marketing endeavors, you must know your target audience, which is done through the creation of customer profiles. Below are two simple ways that can easily help create a profile.
Survey your existing customers
No matter how small your customer base is, you can use it to understand future buyers better. If, for example, you sell sports appeal, surveying your customers can shed light into a typical profile of a consumer who is likely to buy from you. Ask them about their job, age, location, marital status, and why they Pick your products. All of this information can later be used as copy and imagery for ads, or to highlight benefits of your products in social media posts. The opportunities for marketing tactics that can be used from this information are endless.

Use demographics

Demographics such as age, socioeconomic status, geographic location, and psychographics can help you build a target audience for your products and services. This can help ensure proper price points, accurate targeting on Google and Social Media Ads, and that you are on the right platform to reach your consumers, at the right time.

Ways to understand customer profiles

1.   Get feedback from customers
One way of understanding your customer profiles is by getting feedback from customers. Enquire from customers their perception about your company and its offerings. Tools like Survey Monkey and Survata can help gather feedback from customers.
2.   Profiling models
You can understand your customer profiles by grouping them based on similar characteristics. Here are a few examples of profiling;

  • Affinity profiling

Using affinity profiling, you study the buying habits of your customer profiles so that you identify the kind of products that could appeal to them. This type of profiling helps to ensure your product is beneficial to your ideal audience, and that you are reaching out to them on the right channels.

  • Demographic profiling

Demographic details like location, marital status, and educational qualifications can help you identify the needs of your target audience. This can further highlight where your target audience is, to provide the right message through accurate channels.

  • Behavioral profiling

It is used to group customer profiles based on shared behavior and determines what motivates and drives their buying behavior.

  • Lifestyle coding

Assists you to understand your customer profiles based on their way of life and things that interest them like hobbies and likes.

3.   Customer segmentation

What better way to understand your customer profiles than using similar traits among them? You can segment your customer profiles into groups with shared characteristics so that you can target them well with personalized content rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.
Many marketing plans have failed not because they are not well thought out or strategic, but because the focus is to try to attract everyone. Consequently, businesses end up selling products and services that consumers don’t want, or through marketing channels where no one is listening. It is fundamental to build and use customer profiles to identify your target audience, design products and services that appeal to them, and market to them in the right way.