Businesses across the world have never before faced such fierce competition as they do in present times. It takes a lot of time, money, and people to attract and convert new customers. With finite resources at your disposal, you want to ensure your resources are spent on those prospective buyers who will deliver the most return in the long run. You can’t market to everyone – so it’s high time you knew who your ideal customer is and how you can benefit from creating an ideal customer profile. A customer profile is just a hypothetical description of a particular prospect that finds the most amount of value in your product, service, or solution. When dealing with this customer, you will have the quickest and the most successful sales cycle ever. And this customer will deliver you the highest sales in the long run. Customer profiling is important because it helps you gather all the necessary information about the people towards whom you want to target your promotional activities. You want them to become loyal users and buyers of your product or service. This section of buyers is a bit more important than your target market because you will be taking out more time to understand them and their buying behavior.
Following components make for your ideal customer profile
The needs of your customers are going to change with age. Their lifestyles and personal values will evolve and so will their purchase decisions.
Geographical locations are going to alter the behavior of your customers. They will have a different set of values and attitudes which will reflect in their purchase decisions.
Hobbies And Interests
Interests, activities and opinions of your customers are going to form a critical part of their psychographic profile.
Job Title / Description
This factor is going to impact their decisions when making purchases on a regular basis which will primarily result in the acquisition of high utility goods suited for their occupation.
Across different income groups, there will be different buying patterns and product choices based on utility and brand value.
Both physical and mental factors that make up the personality of your customers are going to affect their purchase habits.
Goals And Motivation
What goal they are trying to achieve with the purchase and what motivates their buying pattern is going to help you understand them better.
Pain-Points And Challenges
The problem that your prospective customers are looking to solve by using / consuming your product / service will also help you profile them better.
By layman definition, the ideal consumer / customer profile which is relevant to your industry is basically a model account of all the traits in your customers that indicate their suitability to your offering. This customer will gain significant value from your product or service and in return for that they would be of significant value to your business as well. So, in simpler terms, the ideal customer profile for your industry is just a description of a particular customer or a set of customers that comprises the:
- Geographic details
- Demographic characteristics
- Psychographic details
- Buying patterns
- Purchase history
- Creditworthiness among several other the factors
All these factors are going to directly impact their suitability for your products or services. This in turn is going to impact their purchase decision and your sales volume. An ideal customer profile is also relevant in B2B marketing strategies and gives an entrepreneur the right and much needed clarity to identify the best customers suitable for their products and services. As a result, the business is able to focus on their marketing, advertising and sales efforts on that particular kind of customer and increase their sales volumes much sooner.
Steps To Identifying Your Ideal Customer Profile
Defining Your Offering
The first step towards defining your customer profile begins with defining your product and service. What your product / service is capable of doing for your ideal customer along with the problems that it can solve for them are going to determine your customer profile. How your product / service improves the customer’s quality of life is going to help you identify your ideal customers quickly.
Benefits To Your Customers
The next step is to define the benefits that will accrue to your customers from your product / service. The most pressing needs that your customer is facing should be satisfied by your product / service.
How Your Customer Approaches Your Product / Service
It is also important to determine when exactly your ideal customer buys your product / service. What time of the year, season or month or week does your customer feel the need to buy your product or service?
Understanding Their Buying Strategy
This is also a critical step in understanding your customers better. Find out about any similar products / services that your customers have bought in the past. How they decide upon a particular brand and what factors influence their buying decision will help you understand their buying strategy.
The Benefits Of Customer Profiling You Should Be Aware Of
Finding New And Quality Leads Becomes Easy
By identifying the essential characteristics of your customer profile, regardless of which industry you belong to, you can better understand their exact traits and target the leads that will actually result in a sale. These customers can further generate new leads in the future if you use the information wisely.
Qualifying New Targets Quickly
Careful screening of critical traits in your ideal customer profile is going to help you identify the leads that should be nurtured for conversion. These will be the leads that are most likely to hit the purchase or subscribe button. If you have a well-researched customer profile, you can map each new lead that comes in to that profile with the help of the data you have collected over a period of time. This lets you prioritize those leads that are actually a match.
Enables Correct Allocation Of Resources
Customer profile development, when done right results in the creation of the most ideal target account list. This enables the organization to determine the amount of investment both in terms of time and resources on all these accounts. Your ICP also serves as a strong foundation for your sales function, marketing and customer retention and after sales processes.
Enables Account Based Marketing
According to an independent study, 52% of your consumers are more than willing to share their personal data if you offer them any discounts or personalized benefits. This results in the creation of a successful account based marketing strategy where your team will be communicating with each of your leads in a personalized manner. This enables you to focus on their pain points and prove to them that your product / service can solve their woes and enrich their experience.
Build Customer Loyalty
So, you have created a customer out of a lead. Your job does not end here. If you want to establish a successful enterprise, you will have to focus on customer retention as well. You need to keep your existing customers coming back to your offerings. How do you plan to sow the seeds of loyalty in their minds? You need to stay in touch with them throughout and keep on persuading them in a subtle manner to make purchases with you time and again. Personalize your post purchase customer marketing campaigns to keep all your existing customers interested. Share relevant content with them once you know they are on board.
As an entrepreneur, you should be focused on creating customer profiles before you begin to market your products and services. The ability to find a customer is highly dependent on your skill to identify and locate one. All your marketing, advertising and sales efforts come afterwards. Remember, creating a customer profile for your industry niche is going to be one of the very initial steps to the success of your business.
(Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Zapbuild)
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