During times like these, businesses are looking at their business model and examining what’s going right, what’s going wrong, and what needs to change. Businesses need to assess and reassess like this not just during tough times, but during good times as well. It helps keep the business on track and makes sure that they adjust with the market. One of the most important things for a business to look at is its customer profile.
What is a customer profile?
A customer profile helps you identify who your ideal customer is.
A customer profile helps you identify a vast number of things about your customer. It helps you decide the age of your ideal customer, the average income, their location (if it matters), their education. Are they married? Do they have kids? What kind of television shows do they like? What kind of music? What’s their fashion sense? Things that matter to your brand.
The customer profile also looks at pain points for your ideal customer. What are they willing to spend money on and what are they spending too much money on? What are they buying?
You are finding out the life story of your ideal customer.
Why does my company need a customer profile?
When you get into the head of a customer, you get a better idea of how to market to him or her.
Take the company, Nike, for example. Nike has an extensive customer profile and plays to that customer profile as much as possible.
When the COVID-19 crisis hit the United States, Nike posted on its Instagram page, “If you’ve ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance. Play inside, play for the world.”
When Kobe Bryant died, the company simply posted “Mamba forever.”
Nike creates all of its marketing material and its ad campaigns to focus on what its customers want and care about. The messages that Nike sends out are always about being relatable to the customer.
Does my company have just one customer profile?
A company can have multiple customer profiles and that’s okay. It’s going to depend on your industry. For example, a company that has retail locations in New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago may have separate customer profiles for each location.
It’s also possible that your business offers two, completely different services. You might have one customer profile for one of the services and a separate customer profile for the other service.
Many of these profiles have similar things in common and so they probably overlap, but it is possible to have multiple customer profiles depending on the industry that you’re in.
How do I create a customer profile?
Whether you have one customer profile or multiple, creating them has similarities.
The customer profile is usually broken down into three different categories.
Demographics are one of the main ways that you start to shape your customer profile. You need to look at things like age, gender, race, and education.
- Are your customers senior citizens? High school age? Younger?
- Are they more likely to be male? Female? Both? If possible, come up with a percentage, such as 75% male and 25% female or 50% male and 50% female.
- Is there a specific race or ethnicity that your average customer identifies with? In this case, look at your current customer base and determine if there’s a common thread.
- Is there a specific education level that your average customer has completed? Are they college graduates? Do they have advanced degrees?
That last one, education, goes hand in hand with this next section — socioeconomics. Socioeconomics deals with what makes up your customer’s lifestyle.
- What is the average household income of your ideal customer? Are they pinching pennies? Big spenders? People who splurge occasionally?
- Back to education level, once again you need to ask how far your ideal customer has gone education-wise? A four-year degree? A Master’s degree? A Ph.D.?
- You also want to look at the customer’s occupation. What industries does your ideal customer work in? Are they management? Do they work the night shift?
- Where does your ideal customer live? Do they live in a suburban area? A city? Small town?
- Does your ideal customer live alone? Is he or she married? Does your ideal customer have kids? Pets?
The final category is psychographics. This is the category that looks into things like your customer’s spiritual beliefs, hobbies, sense of style, and other personality traits. This helps you determine if your customer will react well to you taking a political stance or if they expect you to. When thinking about psychographics, think about the following:
- What does your customer like to do for fun? Do they travel on the weekends? Spend the day at the Little League field? Have a Saturday night bowling league?
- What interests your customer? Is he or she into classic cars? Does your customer like sports? Does your customer spend time at local museums? What are his or her hobbies?
- Is there a certain kind of music they listen to? What TV shows do they watch? Do they listen to podcasts? Do they read the newspaper? Where do they get their news?
- What is your customer afraid of? Can your product or service alleviate that anxiety?
Ultimately, you want your customer to think of your business as an ally. You are the friend that is on his or her side; the business that is there for him or her when they need you the most. You are reliable. You understand them, their lives, and their needs.
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Written by Erika Towne