Before you can start selling your products you need to know who you are marketing to.

You need to know who your customers are: their likes and dislikes, their buying patterns. You need to understand the things that will influence them to buy your product or service, visit your website, or sign up for your email newsletter.

This means conducting research and building a customer profile.

What is a customer profile?

A customer profile is a collection of assumptions based on data about your customers. The information you collect will give you an idea of who is interested in your product and why they would buy it. It can include details like age, gender, education, income, financial situation, etc.

Understanding market segments

You will likely have different types of customers who want different things from your product. Additionally, there will be lots of types of people who will be irrelevant for the purposes of your marketing efforts. For example, if your target customer is a university professor, you don’t need to worry about marketing to children.

If you cannot determine with accuracy who is buying your product, you should divide your customer base into different market segments. Segmenting your target market by age, income, gender etc. will help you create better profiles for each of them.

A company will often have multiple customer profiles. For instance, if you sell cleaning services, you may have a different customer profile for your business clients and a different one for your consumer clients.

Understanding different consumers

Your customer profile will also depend on your business approach. If you offer something unique or different, your customer segment will vary with that. If your marketing message is focused on selling baby-safe cleaning products, then it is likely that your customers consist of families with young children rather than businesses, although you may find that child-centered businesses such as crèches or play centers are a good customer for you.

Tailoring your marketing strategy

Once you have identified your customers and built a customer profile, you will then be able to decide on the rest of your marketing strategy.

If your customer profile is a parent with children, then you will produce content and marketing messages that appeal to them. For example, you could focus on children’s health by producing an article about keeping the home clean during flu season to keep the family healthy. Or you may send out emails to your target customers offering to clean their homes after their child’s birthday party.

Success isn’t guaranteed by using a customer profile, but it is more likely since it is based on real customer data.

Getting the data

There are many information sources available that can help you draw up a customer profile.

  • Previous customers

You can monitor your previous customers. This will help you assess who has bought your products in the past, what they wanted, what they were like, how much they were happy to pay.

  • Potential customers

Also keep track of people inquiring about your product. This may be done by adding a few questions when someone fills out a contact form or requests a quote. You can also monitor website traffic to discover where your visitors come from.

  • Using surveys

You might also consider carrying out a survey via email or on your website or in store.

Seeing results

Ultimately, building a customer profile is a path to success. A marketing strategy that is based on a customer profile is much more likely to succeed. Your business will launch products after it has determined who its customers are and what they will look for in the product. You will be much more confident in selling your products when you have acquired the customer information beforehand. You can focus your efforts on those who are likely to respond most positively to your marketing message.

Building a customer profile is a no-brainer – it removes much of the guesswork in business and allows you to focus on implementing actions that will work.