How to Build Your Customer Profile

Your customer profile is a detailed profile of who your target customers are. You can include numerous aspects in your customer profile, and the more detailed it is, the better!

A customer profile is essentially a customer persona. It is a profile of your typical customer.

Why Build a Customer Profile?

Before we jump into how to build your customer profile, we need to understand why we’re doing it.

Building your customer profile is essential for effective marketing campaigns. It enables you to gain a clear understanding of who you are communicating with so you can speak to them on their level.

Profiling your customers will tell you a number of useful things, including:

  • Who they are
  • What they like to do
  • Where you’re going to find them

Once you know these things, you can base your marketing campaigns and content on your customers, their personalities, and their interests.

How to Build Your Customer Profile

Step #1 – Brainstorm

Your initial “customer profile” will probably be down to an educated guess. That’s okay to begin with. As you gather more information, you can alter it and add to it, until you have a very specific profile with detailed characteristics of your typical customer.

First of all, brainstorm ideas as to who you think your customers are. Include details like:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Geographical location
  • Income (high/low earners)
  • Interests

If we use a golfing store as an example, based on your existing knowledge, you may presume that your target customers are middle-aged men with a decent amount of disposable income. They may live in rural locations across the country, and enjoy browsing blogs and forums related to golf.

This is your starting point. You are going to refine and tune this over time to get specific.

Step #2 – Add Google Analytics Tracking Code to your Site

Google Analytics is the best tool for analysing your customers and their online habits. If you’re not using it already, I would suggest you begin doing so. Google Analytics can play a big part in profiling your customers as it gathers a range of information for you.

Step #3 – Analyse Demographics

Track your visitors’ demographics including age/gender/location etc.

Think of each detail as one piece of a larger puzzle. Your task is to gather the pieces and fit them together so you can see the whole picture.

Step #4 – Look for Patterns

Separate your visitors from your conversions. Some visitors may have an interest in watching golf, but don’t actually play the game themselves. If you’re selling golfing equipment, the visitors that have no intention of playing the game won’t be as much use for your profits initially, but they can still help build brand awareness. This, in turn, will help boost your sales over time.

With Google Analytics, you can look for patterns in your audiences behaviours and demographics. For example, you may be receiving visitors who are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, but only those in their 40s are actually purchasing from you. In this case, it’s safe to assume that your target customer age-group is between 40-50.

Communicating with those in their 40s would usually be different from communicating with those in their 20s. The language you choose would be different, as well as the style and tone of your content.

Step #5 – Analyse Buying Habits

Determine your typical customer’s buying habits. Seek to find out whether they are an impulse buyer, or whether they take their time with their purchasing decisions.

A simple way to find out this small but important detail is to keep track of how many of your first-time conversions (or buyers) are returning site visitors. If the majority are returning visitors, they will probably not be impulse-buyers.

In this case, you need to consider playing a longer game, nurturing the relationship over time with methods like gentle (not pushy) email marketing techniques. These people will need to feel secure in their purchasing decisions and you may need to work harder at establishing trust and authority. But, the great thing about these customers, is that they can develop into valuable long-term customers who come back to you time-and-time-again.

Whereas if the majority of your first-time conversions are also first-time visitors, they’ll probably be impulse buyers. These people are more likely to make on-the-spot purchasing decisions. You can have fun experimenting with snappy sales techniques, and persuasive deals and discounts.

Step #6 – Alter your Keywords

Keywords are important. They are what search engines use to match websites with users. If all your traffic is not immediately relevant (e.g. those interested in golf but don’t play) you can use this information to change your keywords to match search intent. Search intent can usually be broken up into three categories:

  • Intent to purchase – Buy now/Sale/Discount/Offer etc.
  • Intent to gain information – How to/How does etc.
  • Intent to seek reviews – product reviews/website reviews etc.

You can use each search intent query to your advantage, whatever business you’re in. For example, if you have a blog, you can add the words “how to” to the primary keywords of your relevant blog posts. This will help boost your SEO and help you present the relevant information to those searchers. If you don’t have a blog, it’s well worth considering setting one up so you can communicate with your audience and share your knowledge of your industry. Blogs are also a fantastic method of gaining information about your audience’s interests. You can see what topics get the most comments and sign-ups. You can also see how long people actually spend on each blog post. If you’re just starting out, there are plenty of affordable WordPress hosting options out there to enable you to maintain your blog with ease, simplicity, and affordability. For those serious buyers, you would want to tailor the keywords on your product pages to include “intent to purchase” modifiers, like “buy [product] here.” If you’d like more information about search intent queries, there’s a detailed guide here.

Step #7 – Check Where your Traffic is Coming From

Traffic doesn’t just come from search engines. It can come from social media, forums, and blogs too. Take a look at what sort of content is getting you the most clicks, leads, and conversions. You’ll then gain a firm understanding of what your audience is interested in and where they spend their time online.

Step #8 – Put it all Together

Put all the information you’ve gathered together, with as much detail as possible. You can put it in whatever format you like, even a picture! Distribute the end result among your employees – in particular, your marketing department – and encourage the relevant people to base your campaigns and content on that profile.

Step #9 – Keep Refining your Customer Profile

Building a customer profile shouldn’t just stop because it’s “finished.” Every visitor, lead, or conversion could add another detail that might make all the difference to your marketing efforts. Additionally, consider where you’ll be in ten years time. Will your current customers still be your customers? Or will you be marketing to a whole new type of audience?

Marketing has adapted over the years, particularly with the rise of the digital age. Traditionally, companies reached their audiences through TV ads, radio ads, and billboards. This is a very untargeted approach, and mostly just relied on guess-work and pushy sales methods.

Nowadays, the industry is drastically different because consumers are different. They have access to a wider range of products and services, as well as customer reviews and social media business pages.

Use the digital age to your advantage and build a customer profile to reach and communicate with your target buyers.