How to zoom in on your most profitable customers
What do Customer Profiles and CSI Miami have in common?
On CSI Miami they create criminal profiles (descriptions, evaluations etc.) of dangerous criminals A.K.A. ‘perps’. These criminal profiles help Lieutenant Horatio Caine and the other stars analyse, understand, track down and arrest said bad guys. CSI also has cool background tunes.
Creating Customer Profiles on the other hand is much safer and can be an easy, fun and useful method for increasing the effectiveness of all of your marketing activities and dollars invested.
In addition, if you stick with Customer Profiles you won’t have to travel to deserted scrubland to dig bones out of the ground or deal with pesky violent criminals carrying concealed automatic weapons.
What is a Customer Profile?
In ‘marketing speak’ a Customer Profile (Also referred to as Customer Personas) is simply a summary or description of a person who represents your Primary Target Market.
The intention is to create a detailed summary of a fictitious individual who represents a highly accurate example of a member of your Primary Target Market.
In a nutshell, instead of creating a criminal profile of the main ‘Perp’ as in CSI Miami you instead create a Profile of your Ideal Customer
Why Create Customer Profiles?
Creating and using Customer Profiles can help you make better marketing and promotions decisions.
This is achieved by increasing your understanding and connection with your Primary Target Markets, their needs, desires, behaviours and how to satisfy them.
They are really useful tools for helping you get inside the shoes of your customers, to see the world as they do and to start thinking the way that they do.
What to Include in a Customer Profile?
You can include any information that is likely to be relevant and/or useful in helping you understand the needs and behaviours of your Primary Target Markets.
- Marital status
- Parental status
- Location of place of work
- Home ownership or rental status
- Tastes in food, music, entertainment, television etc.
- Propensity to travel, purchase luxury goods, drink fine wine etc. etc.
- Information regarding important needs or desires
- Information regarding their decision-making and purchasing behaviour
- What your business can do to satisfy their needs and make their life better
- Much more….
5 Steps to Using Customer Profiles
When working with clients of Baker Marketing or delivering workshops and seminars I encourage the creation and use of Customer Profiles.
Here are five steps to creating and using Customer Profiles in your business:
- Complete your Marketing Plan:
Complete your marketing planning process to the point where you have defined the following:
- Primary and Secondary Target Market
- Desired Brand Positioning
- Decide on an Example:
Decide on a description of an example of a ‘Stereo-typical’ customer that represents your Primary Target Market as perfectly as possible. (For example: female, aged 25 years, tertiary educated and career orientated etc. etc.)
- Choose a Name:
Decide a name for your Customer Profile – yes that’s right, choose a name. I have found that when working with clients of Baker Marketing they sometimes find it a little odd and certainly challenging to come up with a name for their Customer Profile. However, once an appropriate name is chosen things quickly start to fall into place and the benefits of creating a Customer Profile are achieved.
- Do Some Research and Information Collection:
In order to ensure your Customer Profile is accurate and useful it is important to be informed about your Primary Target Market. Research and Information sources to consider include:
- Your experience in dealing with your customer groups
- Research interviews and customer focus groups
- Other information readily available via your industry associations and Government support agencies and/or the internet
- Keep Your Customer Profile Current and Refer to it Regularly:
Continue to build on your Customer Profile and update it with additional information or changes when new insights come to hand.
Develop the habit of referring back to your Customer Profile whenever you are making marketing decisions and ask yourself questions such as:
- What would Jane or Bob think of that?
- Would Jane or Bob like that?
- How would Jane or Bob respond to this change?
Customer Profiles Miami?
It is unlikely that Customer Profiles will ever be considered exciting enough by the mainstream pubic to be developed into a prime time television show.
Suffice to say that if this were the case then the team at Baker Marketing would all audition for key roles (Naturally my character would be both ruggedly handsome yet dark, deeply troubled and mysterious, possibly with a penchant for protein).
In the meantime, I recommend that you consider creating and using Customer Profiles within your business to enhance your understanding of your customers and to maximise the investment you make in marketing and promotions.