Creating Customer Profiles to Visualize, Identify and Reach a Target Audience

by Emily Retherford

3 min read

To increase your customer base, develop a marketing plan to promote your company’s products or services. Create an accurate customer profile for the busines’s target market. If marketing plans are more tailored to a specific type of customer, it will be much more effective and will eventually lead to new customers. A shotgun marketing approach may seem like a good idea because it hits many different people, but the strategy costs more and takes more time to drive new business.

Customer Demographics, Personalities, Preferences and Behaviors

The first step in creating a customer profile is to think of the ideal customer’s demographics. Demographics are a range of what the typical customer looks like. It could include things like age, race, gender, income, marital status, education, occupation and geographic location. The more specific the demographics are for the customer, the more effective it will be for marketing. Think from the perspective of your customers and understand their behaviors. Why would they use your products and services? What do these ideal clients do as hobbies, and what are their interests?

For example, imagine that you are a real estate agent with a new property listing, and you are looking for people who want to buy the property. This customer profile is too broad, and you would have to market to a very large population. To narrow the focus, you should look at what type of customer would buy the house. Is it meant for a family or single person? Are there schools nearby? Where is it located? Are there any areas of attractions nearby? What are the income requirements to buy the house? A more narrowed target customer profile would seek a family with young children looking to buy a house in a good school district and want a park nearby. The household income level needs to be at least $100,000 to afford it, and they don’t mind commuting to the closest major city.

Customers’ Preferred Physical and Online Locations

With almost every business and service available online, it is important to understand how your ideal customer prefers to encounter your business. Millennials and younger people prefer to do research online instead of walking into a store to ask questions to the sales staff. Older people may not be as technologically savvy and prefer human interaction when buying products or services. Understanding what the ideal customer wants will help you meet your business’s needs. For example, a business that attracts younger customers through its website would be better off spending money to increase online exposure instead of hiring more salespeople.

Customer Needs, Wants and Pain Points

Being intuitive to the ideal customer’s needs, wants and pain points will often separate success and failure with marketing. Understand what your ideal customers want and what makes them happy. For example, many customers return for repeat business just because of outstanding customer service. A big mistake would be selling a product with lackluster service to a customer that finds it very important. The customer will be unhappy with the sale and will potentially go elsewhere in the future.

Perhaps the ideal customer is more fee-sensitive and does not care about the service. In that case, reallocate the company’s service side in favor of lowering product prices. Understanding the ideal customer’s wants and needs will lead to a happy customer and a growing business.

Customer Shopping Habits

How long do your ideal customers take to make decisions? Do they consult other people or shop around before making the final decision? Understanding this can help you construct a more effective sales presentation to your ideal customers. People who take a long time to make decisions should not have high-pressure sales presentations. Doing so could dissuade them from moving forward with the deal. On the other hand, if the average customer wants the sales process to move quickly, dragging out the presentation could cause frustration.

Customer Values and Morals

An overlooked part of the customer profile is the values and morals. Many customers prefer to do business with companies that align with their own values and morals. For example, if an environmentally conscious investor meets with a financial planner, the planner shouldn’t recommend investing in companies that are known for polluting. Doing so could upset the investor, which could have been easily avoided if the financial planner was proactive enough to understand the investor’s values.

If you have specific values and morals, displaying them may actually drive new business. In the same example, if the financial planner markets using an eco-friendly investment portfolio, it may attract similar clients who share those values.

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