How To Do Customer Profiling | Guide

Illustration of a customer profile under a magnifying glass. Customer profiling guide blog post.
Illustration of a customer profile under a magnifying glass. Customer profiling guide blog post.

Every person is unique. But it’s hard to argue with the fact that the people who buy from you tend to share some of the same characteristics. Learning what these characteristics are — a process called customer profiling — can help you better understand who buys your products and what motivates them to purchase. 

Customer profiling is a data-driven approach to uncovering the needs and motivations of your customers. Let’s explore how to do customer profiling so you can attract more of the right customers.

Table of Contents

What Is Customer Profiling?

Customer profiling (also called persona mapping or marketing profiling) is the process of using data to discover your customers’ characteristics, buying habits, motivations, needs, and other details. These profiles, also called buyer personas, will guide your marketing efforts to ensure your messaging, offers, and products resonate with the right people.

Messaging

Many businesses have different customer types. Learning what these types are allows you to market to each type in ways that will be well received.

Why Is Customer Profiling Important?

Customer profiling improves the way you target and engage potential customers. You have a clearer picture of who you’re talking to in mind and can have more impactful conversations with them.

These efforts will help you:

Target the right customers

Sales and marketing teams can avoid wasting time and resources on the wrong customers. Your marketing becomes more targeted to customers that fit your business model and products. This is key to creating personalized experiences that will help your advertising stand out.

Improve response rates

Reaching the right customers at the right time can improve engagement and response rates. The more engagement you receive, the more audience insights you can gather to improve your customer profiling. You’ll be able to reach even more customers who share similar characteristics.

Lower customer acquisition costs

Speaking to a targeted audience can reduce customer acquisition costs. Spend more time on better-fit customer personas and avoid spending time and money trying to convert customers who simply don’t fit the mold.

Drive customer loyalty

Better consumer profiling requires you to know their needs, wants, and preferences. When you can demonstrate this knowledge, customers are more likely to stick with brands and companies that “get” them.

Client Profile Example

Your client profiles can be as complex or straight-forward as you want them to be. Let’s look at a few customer profiling examples:

Hubspot Customer Profile Example

Hubspot customer profile example.

This client profile example contains basic yet helpful information, such as pain points, demographics, and products or services used. It also includes a photo, which may help you to humanize your customer profiling marketing.

This target customer profile example highlights three unique personas in a single view. 

Targeting the right customer infographic.

Rather than give a customer name, it includes a description of each customer. You can also see demographic information, psychographic details like interests, values, and behavioral information.

What Should a Customer Profile Include?

At a minimum, your ideal customer profile should contain the following:

  • Name or customer description
  • Location
  • Demographics (age, gender, income, industry, etc.)
  • Buying behavior (including patterns and history)
  • Lead acquisition channel(s)
  • Specific interests
  • Job-related details (helpful for B2B and B2C customers)

Additional items that might define your ideal customer include:

  • Preferred social media channels
  • Time spent on social media
  • Specific brands the customer likes
  • Lifestyle characteristics

You can define your client profile and customer groups however you like. Just make sure you’re including only relevant information that will support your sales and marketing strategies.

How to Create a Customer Profile

Learning how to create a customer profile can be a worthwhile effort, especially if you have a diverse customer base or multiple acquisition channels. Customer profiling helps you learn the nuances of each consumer or client so you can tailor your strategy to meet the needs of each one.

Let’s look at how to create a customer profile, step by step.

1. Identify your best customers

To understand your customer base, take a look at your best customers. These are the ones who have bought the most from you, buy the most frequently, or have been buying from you the longest. These are the customers you want to attract more of.

You might even segment your customers between products or services. For example, identify your best customers for each service or type of product you offer. 

2. Look for common denominators

Dial deeper into your data to see common traits across your best customers. List the most important attributes that will help you to define your customer profiling.

Some areas to consider include:

  • The channel through which you acquired the customer
  • Industry and role
  • Offers, promotions, or discounts they’ve acted on
  • Preferred communication channel(s)
  • Day and time they’re most responsive
  • Pain points
  • Buying motivations
  • Buying patterns

This isn’t a complete list, but this data can help you find connections between consumers and why they choose your company. 

3. Send out customer surveys

You will likely have more information for some customers than others. Sending these customers a survey can help to fill in any gaps in information and learn more about them. Focus on the missing attributes that will help you to create a stronger profile.

4. Enrich the profiles with additional data

Other first-party and third-party data sources, such as CRM, email, social media, and website analytics, can help you learn more about your customers. For example, you can use email open rates to determine which types of customers are most likely to open and act on your email marketing. Website analytics can reveal more about the customer journey map and the steps that lead to a purchase.

5. Create a customer profiling template

As you learn more about the data and details that define your ideal customer profile, develop a template that captures all of this information. An ideal customer profile template systematizes the process so you can build new personas in the future with ease. 

6. Update your customer profiling

Customer profile analysis is never a one-and-done activity. As you add new products and services, acquisition channels, and marketing initiatives, your customer profiles may also evolve. Doing ongoing customer profile analysis ensures you have every opportunity to build deeper connections with your audience.

How to Use Customer Profiling in Marketing

Creating your customer profiling examples is just the start. The next step is to deploy them in your marketing. There’s more than one way to go about this.

Customer profile analysis

Use customer profiling to create marketing campaigns

One option is to choose a customer profile for your campaign and tailor your messaging and offer to speak directly to that person. Align your copy and creative with the customers’ needs to encourage them to act.

Meltwater customer AxiaOrigin uses a variety of data sources to execute global campaigns that resonate on a local level. They sought to understand personalities from a psychological perspective and achieved this goal by learning how people were using their native languages on social media.

The goal is to stand out to a specific type of consumer or client. Everything from the imagery to the benefits to the method of acting on the campaign should reflect the customer profile. 

For instance, a consumer who is convenience-driven may respond differently to a campaign than a consumer who is personalization-driven. Choose one of these personas and develop your marketing campaign around it.

Use customer personas to collect feedback

Customer profiling allows brands to tap into the benefits of segmentation. It ensures you’re creating marketing messages for specific customers, not just a mass audience. Segmentation can be helpful in a number of use cases, especially when it comes to collecting customer feedback.

You might want feedback on products, services, the checkout process, or any other part of your business. Depending on the information you seek, you can reach out to customers who fit within a certain profile to get their insights.

Collecting feedback can also be a great way to analyze customer sentiment about your company or a general topic. For instance, Meltwater customer Greater Than One uses Meltwater data to understand how healthcare professionals are spending their time and which sources they find credible.

Collecting these insights via social listening allows the company to augment and understand its data at scale to see how it can best meet its customers' expectations.

Learn how your products are being used

Similar to asking for customer feedback, customer segmentation can also help you gain an understanding of how your customers are using the products or services. These present great opportunities for case studies, which you can use in your marketing strategy.

Segment your customers based on their purchases, how they discovered you, what made them purchase, and the pain points you alleviate. Highlight these details in the case study so that similar potential customers can relate.

Tip: Take a look at the different customer types out there.

Ideal Customer Profile Template

To get started with customer profiling, we’ve created a simple ideal customer profile template you can adapt and use in your marketing. Simply fill in the blanks and apply to your specific use cases:

  • Buyer Name/Description
    Add a human name or describe the customer type
  • Products/Services Purchased
    List the primary product or service or the category of products the customer purchases most
  • Age
    List a specific age, age range, or generation (e.g. Millennial, Gen Z)
  • Location
    Can be a specific city, region, or country
  • Hobbies & Interests
    Unique details that can help you build personal connections
  • Pain Points
    Specific problems the customer wants to solve
  • Motivations
    Factors that influence buying decisions (e.g., connectivity-driven, convenience-driven, cost-driven, need-based)
  • Touchpoints
    How they heard about you, how many times they visited your site or offer, how many interactions before they made a purchase, etc.
  • Miscellaneous
    Include any other relevant information

If you need help uncovering the nuances of your customer base, . Our social listening and media monitoring tools are the most comprehensive in the industry, helping you get inside the minds of your customers, match words to actions, and meet your customers wherever they are. 

Meltwater media monitoring

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