Three Ways Building Customer Profiles Will Help Your Business

By Sean Brown | August 3, 2017

In a world cluttered with ads, the ones that we truly notice are few and far between. Marketing is a vital part of any business, but even more vital is first identifying who you’re actually marketing to. Taking a shotgun approach to digital marketing is simply ineffective—stunning advertising creative does nothing in the hands of people that don’t have a problem for you to solve.

Find the People That Care

You shouldn’t waste your time and effort advertising to groups of people that are inevitably going to be uninterested in your product. Better yet, building customer profiles prior to the start of your next campaign allows you to create significantly more engaging content while improving your CTR and reducing your long-term ad spend.

Detailed customer profiles are the foundation of any successful marketing campaign. In order to reach people that are relevant to your business, you need to know where to find them and how to be noticeable. It’s important to remember that from the consumer’s perspective, whatever you’re trying to sell is ultimately a solution to somebody’s problem. The first step is identifying all of the problems your product solves and placing yourself in the shoes of someone in the market for a solution.

At the most basic level, developing highly segmented customer profiles allows you to expand your effective reach without paying for larger campaigns.

While it’s hard to quantify all of the benefits customer profiles have to offer, here are a few more of the reasons getting more specific with your ad targeting can start to help your business.

1. The Ideal Customer Profile

Not all customers are created equal. Despite the fact that everyone has to buy food and eat to stay alive, an executive chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant is more likely to purchase exotic spices than a struggling college student. This is largely what the broad portrait aims to illuminate. When starting to create customer profiles, it’s important to start with the basics. You must ask yourself, “who exactly is buying my product?” The answer to this question should take into consideration the reason the customer is interested in your product in the first place, how they are going to use it, and how your product aligns with their goals.

In doing this, you create a basic roadmap to reach your ideal customer. In a guest post on Convince & Convert, Greg Ciotti (content marketing manager at Help Scout, an invisible help desk) demonstrates the differences between two of the potential customers for Help Scout’s help desk service. Ciotti details the danger of “lumping them together as ‘people who need a help desk,’” and instead suggests the importance of catering to each customer’s individual needs. Despite the common interest in your product, it is important to acknowledge why they are interested in your product.

2. Define User Priorities

After creating an ideal customer profile, it’s time to start thinking about what the goals and priorities of your customers are when using your product. Is your product oriented towards individual use? Is it better catered towards commercial/business application? Using customer profiles to answer these questions provides two big benefits. By thinking about how a customer is going to use your product, you can begin to craft an ideal marketing experience for them. The other effect of this is a framework for contextualized user feedback.

From the user priority viewpoint, it’s easy to then see what your product does well and what it doesn’t do so well. Organizing feedback through customer profiles is far more actionable than taking feedback from a massive uncategorized group. For example, PhotoShop CC is an application designed for creative professionals. That said, Adobe is probably more interested in feedback from these competent professionals than someone learning the software for the first time. Their target user is a pro who’s already in the field—and creating a customer profile can help them understand that user.

Creating customer profiles to identify user priorities is the most important step in the process. It’s the starting place for both advertising and customer feedback. Spend some time working on creating a list of priorities for each customer profile you make—it will save tons of time when you want to make changes to your product or start to advertise effectively.

3. Create Personalized Marketing Campaigns

Using customer profiles removes all of the guesswork from developing advertisement campaigns. Looking back to the ideal customer profile that you created can help you figure out where your best customers will stumble upon you. To do this, you should ask yourself: What content appeals to these customers the most? What are they doing on social media? What blogs are they reading? What are they searching for?

The answers to these questions should be used to determine the best places to advertise and assist in selecting the most effective types of creative to reach potential customers. Figure out what content your ideal customers are looking at to increase the effectiveness of your reach. Looking back to the initial portrait you created will assist you in finding these spaces.

Sometimes It’s Important to Sweat the Small Stuff

Customer profiles are extremely easy to generate, but it’s important that you don’t skip this step. By answering a few simple questions about your customers, you can quickly create a cohesive map of how to grow and simultaneously improve your business.

Begin by looking at current buyers and provide a thorough explanation of why these people have an interest in your product. Move on to determining what the priorities of these customers are when using your product—you will use this to begin finding the best places to market as well as finding ways to improve your product for your current customer base. Finally, you can use the profile you’ve created to identify the most effective marketing path and significantly increase your reach to engaged customers.