So, you’ve had a million dollar, billion dollar, e-commerce idea to dropship rocks that look like Harry Potter characters but you don’t know who your target audience is.
Fear not! In this article, we’ll lay out a simple and effective way to create your ideal customer profile, so you can improve your marketing and drive more conversions.
In the modern world it’s no longer good enough to just attract ‘customers’, you want to make sure you’re attracting the customer. The customer sticks by you and your business through thick and thin, buying from you time and again while recommending you to their friends, family and everyone at the Harry Potter conference they’re at (the butterbeer is amazing, by the way).
In reality, you’ll attract a lot of customers who are nearly perfect or just ‘good’, who buy from you. but don’t evangelise you. They’ll give you a go, like what they get, and then move onto the next business. Great in the short term, bad in the long term.
The purpose of an Ideal Customer Profile is to give you something to aim at to boost sales, increase your customer retention rates, and drive more repeat revenue opposed to one-off impulse purchases.
An Ideal Customer Profile is the customer of your dreams. Sometimes it’s made by analysing data of your actual dream customers, and sometimes it’s modelled on what you know you want and need your dream customer to look like. An Ideal Customer profile identifies the customers likes, pain points, dislikes, purchasing habits, personality traits and much more, giving you the the exact type of person to target for long-term success.
Your consumer profiling will likely need to answer some basic questions to help you understand who you’re targeting.
These are some of the questions to bear in mind that might need to be answered by your data:
Make sure you have a clear outcome in mind when pulling together your Ideal Customer Profile. Consumer data and profiling have so many uses, it’s essential you have a clear goal in mind for your customer profiling. Having a clear goal in mind will really help you focus the direction and scope your profiling and research.
These should be two variables you expect to polarise your sector. They could be based around price, brand recognition or something else.
For example, you’re drop shipping rocks that look like Harry Potter characters, so you focus on “Which House do my audience identify as?” and “Do my audience only buy characters from the House they identify as?”.
That way you can see if a Hufflepuff is more likely to buy figures of Cedric Diggory and Justin Finch-Fletchley than Draco Malfoy and Horace Slughorn. You might think they only want Cedric, but they may be equally interested in Horace. You never know.
Using the example above, you don’t want your respondents telling you they identify as Gryffindor due to an online quiz, but really would have been in Ravenclaw if they were to choose. The best way to make sure your variables are mutually exclusive is to make sure you avoid multiple choice questions if you’re doing consumer research.
It’s important to make sure your variables are mutually exclusive to ensure you’re being accurate, and to get a clear sense of the differences between your customers and their profiles.
Some typical demographic details may include:
Location: if you have a brick & mortar location or provide in-person consulting, you’re likely to be confined geographically, therefore making location a key detail.
Age or gender: your product may be targeted towards teenagers or seniors or specifically for mothers of newborns.
Job title or company info: many B2B products are sold to people in specific jobs, in specific industries or in companies of a certain size.
Household income: luxury services are just not accessible to everyone, focusing on people who have disposable income will be key.
If you want to use targeted media buying—anything from traditional radio spots, to trade journals to Facebook ads—knowing your customer demographics will help you buy ad space that will get your message in front of your ideal client.
Without it, you may be wasting money by showing your product/service to someone who can’t even access it.
There are some great tools like HotJar, Attest and Salesforce that can help a business analyse their data with out of the box solutions, but in reality, all you need is a basic understanding of excel and data so you can see the trends for yourself.
Using tools like conditional formatting and graphs can really help you visualise large sums of data for easier understanding.
The beauty of customer profiling is that it’s an easily repeatable process. In fact, repeating your consumer profiling research is always a good thing, as it means you’ll always be on top of any emerging trends and changes in attitudes among your customers or potential customers.
Plus, it should continually confirm that the marketing you’re doing is correct. If you repeat your customer profile and find it’s completely different to the original or doesn’t match your current marketing efforts, something’s gone wrong.
Once you’ve created your working customer profiles, repeat—budget and time allowing—every year or so. With new competitors, new influencers and brand-new customers all entering the market, the perceptions and status quos will shift with time.
Hubspot have some fantastic Consumer Templates you can download here. Fair warning, Hubspot says they’re free, but you do have to give them some data to download them e.g. your name and email address. Sadly, nothing’s ever truly free*
*Apart from our free whitepaper, which you don’t need to submit a single bit of your information to download. You’re welcome.