At the heart of an effective marketing strategy is the ability to connect with your target market and establish relationships with people who need or want the products and services your business offers. In order to connect with this market effectively, you need to understand who your target buyers are and who you want to reach. You can broadly identify who these buyers are by creating buyer personas or customer profiles. These customer profiles will help you to identify your customers’ challenges and needs, and understand how to speak to them using their words and language to address these needs and provide solutions (i.e., your products or services).
How to Create a Customer Profile
A great way to get a sense of your customer profile is to identify 10-15 of your best customers and send them a survey (you can set-up a free trial at Constant Contact and use their survey forms or use Google Docs Forms which is also free).
For consumers, ask them for the following info:
- Their Salary
- Age Range
- Marital Status
- How They Found You
- Why They Bought from You
- What Problem You Helped Solve
For commercial or business clients, include:
- Number of Employees
- Type of Business
- Geographic Scope of Business
- Revenue Levels
Look at the results and write a profile of your typical customer. For example, “Bill is 45, lives in Denver with his wife and kids, makes $70K/year and works in an office all day. He bought from us because…” Describe a real person so you can see him or her in your mind. Find a photo from the Internet who matches your ideal customer profile. If you have several customer types, create a customer profile for each.
You can also gain insight by listening online. Find and read the publications or blogs your target market reads, listen in on social outposts to learn what people are saying using Facebook or Twitter. You can also use keyword search tools like Google Adwords, Wordtracker, and Keyword Discovery to see what keywords related to your business people are searching for.
Use Your Customer Profile to Guide All Your Marketing Efforts & Content
Once you have your customer profile, use it when creating any content on your web site, in your email newsletters, on your blog, social media networks, etc. The goal is to speak directly to your customer profile and become relatable to Bill or Jane. Put yourself in his or her shoes and ask yourself, “If I were Bill and I came to my company’s website (or blog, Facebook page, etc), what type of content would I want to see?”
Use your customer profile to guide all of your marketing efforts and content. This will take the focus of your marketing message off of your business and place it onto your customers, and their needs and desires. Doing so will have a tremendous impact on your ability to connect with new and existing customers and establish long-term win-win relationships which can ultimately help you grow your business in a cost-effective way.