Customer profiles provide factual information about the demographics and buying behaviors of your target audience. The profile describes everything you need to know about a specified group of customers. You can then leverage that information to create a digital strategy that aligns with the wants and needs of your audience. Sounds pretty good, right?
Here’s the thing, though. We are always evolving, shaped by world events, culture, technology and more. This means that consumers and their habits are evolving, too. As a result, your customer profiles can’t be stagnant. Your customers are embracing new technologies as they become available, which means the channels they are likely to respond to digital ads on is changing too. For example, while millennials are enthusiastically adopting digital audio, Gen X is found watching connected TV.
Read on to learn how to build and update your profiles so that they reflect the way your customers are evolving.
Identify What Your Business Aims to Solve
The first step to building or updating your customer profile is to focus on the problem that your product, service or business is aiming to solve. For example, a company that sells baby formula is solving one specific problem: keeping babies fed. By identifying the problem your business or product is solving, you can understand who is seeking an answer to that problem.
Who your audience is isn’t always straightforward. For example, baby formula is solving a problem for babies—but it’s also solving a problem for parents and caregivers. For obvious reasons, in this scenario it’s the caregivers who will be seeking out the product. This makes them the target audience for baby formula.
Once you’ve figured out who your audience is broadly, the goal is to narrow that audience down into a profile that aligns with your product. One way to do that is by analyzing your customers’ journey.
Understand Your Customers’ Journey
By understanding how a customer goes from awareness and consideration to conversion and evaluation, you can narrow that broad audience down into a more defined profile. If you have one available, refer to a customer journey map, which outlines every touch point that a customer passes through before making a purchase. While it’s useful, a customer journey map isn’t entirely necessary. What’s most important is that you think about how a customer comes to know your business, and eventually make a purchase.
For example, a caregiver who purchases baby formula could journey from awareness to purchase in a couple different ways. Their first touch point may have been hearing an ad for the formula in the mid-roll of their favourite parenting podcast. From there, the caregiver might ask a friend if they’ve used the product, or a peer might recommend it. For a final touch point before purchase, the caregiver may go to the formula’s website to read through user-generated reviews.
Create a Profile Description
Once you have a broad idea of your audience and the customer journey, it’s time to consider their demographics in detail. Demographic aspects to think about include age, income level, family size, occupation, education level and marital status.
Considering the generation that your customers fall into is helpful, because based on the natural affinities and similarities found between generations, you can draw certain conclusions for how they may behave. This will help you understand where you might find your customers online, which informs their customer journey.
To return to the baby formula example, we know that the target audience for this product is parents and caregivers. In creating the profile description, you’ll want to dig deeper into who that caregiver is.
By considering demographic information about them like generation and educational level, you can better understand how to reach them. For example, since the majority of caregivers of babies and toddlers are millennials, it’s safe to assume that you can reach them through mobile and connected TV.
Build a Strategy Around Your Customer Profiles
Once you’ve created or updated your customer profile, it’s time to make use of it. Use your profiles to understand how your customers are interacting with tech, and to drive customer acquisition. We’re in a tech-driven world, so finding that alignment is key when building your digital marketing strategy.
When you understand what tech your customers are using, you can identify what digital ads will perform best in reaching those profiles. You can then build out your strategy around the channels that make the most sense for reaching a particular profile.
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