To market successfully, you need to know your customer better than they know themselves!
It's not enough anymore to just answer the question 'Who is your target customer?' with demographic information like 'Females age 18 - 25'; it's simply not specific. Your customers are individuals with personalities and habits that may help you in your marketing efforts if you understand them better.
Did you know that in some countries, businesses are required to submit a customer profile in order to register as a legal company? Yeah, that's how important it is.
how do I create a customer profile?
Well, you can start by using an incredible tool called YouGov Profiles, which will find you in-depth customer profiles of competitors or products for FREE. It always surprises me how few people know about this tool, and I would recommend anyone to go try it out, even just for fun!
Let's go ahead and think up an example...let's say you're a small hair salon, with a classy high-end brand. You might find it useful to see the profiles of Toni & Guy customers:
This is where the magic happens. YouGov will gather all its data (sourced from willing individuals completing surveys across the internet) to provide you with a ridiculously in-depth profile:
- Social Grade
- Political stance
- Monthly disposable income
- Favourite food
- Hobbies & activities
- Favourite sports
- General Interests
- Niche Interests
- Personal values
- Describes themselves as
- Customer of...
- Shops at...
- Clothing brands...
- Make of car
- Favourite movies
- Favourite TV shows
- Favourite music artists
- Favourite celebrities
- Top websites visited
- Top Twitter follows
- Top Facebook pages
- Top mobile apps
- Time online per week
- Favourite newspaper
- Favourite magazines
- Time spent watching TV per week
- TV shows watched recently
Yep, that's right - I just got all that information for free. Go ahead and try it with your competitors!
how do I create my own unique version?
Sure, your customers may vary slightly to your competitors, and you have to take tools like this with a pinch of salt - after all, the sample size isn't huge.
The best way to do it is to really imagine yourself in the shoes of you customer, and try and answer these questions for yourself.
I've put together a worksheet to help you!
(To create your own copy in Google Docs, go to File > Make a Copy)
But, how do I use this information?
You may now be thinking 'this is all well and good, but what's the point of all this information?'. Here are just some of the areas of your Marketing plan that will benefit from outlining this extra detail:
- Your product/service offering
This hairdresser example above could now decide that they will stock 'Woman' magazine in their salon for clients to read, and that they'll be playing Muse over the speakers in order to enhance their customers' experience.
- Pricing your product/services
In the example above, the target customer has a good amount of disposable income, so the hairdresser may decide they are able to charge more for their services.
- Content marketing
You now know all their favourite things and what makes them tick, so it will be easier to find relevant content to post on social media or on your business blog that is more likely to engage them. Also, if they're spending 50+ hours a week online, you may want to consider how active your business is being online too!
Not only do you now have a list of publications and websites that your target customers are consuming, you also have behavioural information that is going to help when you come to using targeted advertising campaigns on Facebook or Google.