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What is a Customer Profile? Learn How to Create a Customer Profile

Creating customer profiles can help you attract the kinds of customers who are more likely to be drawn to your small business.

Photo of customer shopping with a small business.
February 1, 2023
Chloe Mulliner
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Reading time about 7 min

As a small business owner, you want to attract every customer under the sun. After all, you have great products or services.

While it would certainly be fantastic to draw in customers from all walks of life, that’s not necessarily the best strategy for gaining business. In fact, trying to accommodate every type of customer could hinder your business, not to mention waste time and money along the way.

When you try to entice any customers, it’s a bit like shooting in the dark. You can’t see what you’re aiming for—or you don’t even know what you’re aiming for—so you miss the mark. The same goes for when you’re blindly marketing to the entire world.

Instead of marketing without a target, you’ll find it far more lucrative to attract the kinds of customers who want your business. And that’s where customer profiles come in handy.

But what’s a customer profile? And how do you create one? Our guide below covers everything you need to know about building the ideal customer profile for your small business.

What is a Customer Profile?

First, let’s address customer profile definitions.

As their name suggests, customer profiles refer to portrayals of the type of person most likely to buy from your business. Your customer profile should include their demographics, lifestyle, and behaviors. For example, how old is your ideal customer? What do they do for a living? And what are their interests? Your ideal customer profile should represent customers who most want or need your services.

Benefits of Creating Customer Profiles

The most significant benefit of creating a customer profile is that it makes it easier to reach potential customers. In addition, determining these customer traits and qualities can help you decide where to find your ideal customers so you’re not pouring your small business marketing budget into the wrong avenues.

For instance, if your ideal customer is a teenage male in high school with interest in video games, you probably won’t want to market on professional networks such as LinkedIn. Instead, you might put your marketing efforts toward platforms like Twitch, which are geared more toward that demographic.

What’s more, creating customer profiles can save you time and money. Having a better idea of your customer’s habits and behaviors helps you narrow in on your specific niche instead of just running generic ads with the hopes of hooking a random customer or two. When you devote your marketing efforts to a few targeted areas prospective customers are more likely to respond to, you’ll have a higher chance of attracting business.

And finally, customer profiles play a big role in customer retention. The more you understand your customers, the easier it will be to hold on to them. You can cater to their preferences, creating content that resonates with them and promos that interest them to keep them coming back for more.

How to Build a Customer Profile

With a better understanding of customer profiles, let’s discuss how to build one of your own.

 

1. Analyze Your Existing Customer Base

While it's always a good idea to consider the kinds of customers you want to attract, let's start with those you've already hooked. These repeat customers have been with your business for the longest. They're also most likely to refer your company to friends and family.

To begin, turn to your web analytic tools, which provide free data about your customers. Platforms like Google Analytics, Hootsuite, and Hotjar are all great places to start extrapolating information.

2. Determine What Your Existing Customers Have in Common

Next, look at the data on your most loyal customers and begin extracting similarities you notice between them.

Are they all around the same age? Do they live in the same region? And are they shopping on the same kinds of devices?

The following are some key areas to consider:

  • Demographics:
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Ethnicity
    • Religion
    • Occupation
    • Family Status
  • Socioeconomics:
    • Income
    • Education
    • Household size
  • Psychographics:
    • Interests
    • Beliefs and values
    • Pain points
    • Aspirations
  • Geographical region:
    • ​​​​​​​Country
    • State
    • Region
    • Neighborhood

As you sift through your data, you might find the majority of your current customers are single, college-educated females in their late 20s who live on the West Coast and purchase your products on their mobile devices. Or, maybe your most common customers are affluent men and women in their 40s who enjoy gardening, spending time with their children, and browsing Facebook.

3. Consider Potential Customers

If your business is still in its early stages, you may still need to build a loyal customer base, but that should continue from creating a customer profile. Instead, work with what you assume would characterize your ideal customer and update your profile as you gain insights from new customers.

Let's say you're launching a wedding photography business. You'll likely target engaged couples in their late 20s or early 30s with salaries of at least $75,000. Your customers have been dreaming of their wedding day for years and spend their free time browsing Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration. Even with this limited information, you can build a marketing strategy geared toward this group of individuals.

4. Send Surveys

Want to know more about your customers? Request feedback and send surveys to discover more about their traits and attributes. You can do this through survey apps like SurveyMonkey or even via SMS messages.

To help organize your data, we recommend sending questions with multiple-choice answers. For example:

What region of the U.S. do you live in?

  • East
  • West
  • South
  • Midwest
  • Northeast
  • Southeast

What social media platform do you use most?

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • Other

However, you can include some open-ended questions if you’re looking to elicit additional information, such as if you’re inquiring about their values or favorite hobbies.

5. Gather Findings

By now, you've gathered enough data to begin building your ideal customer profiles. Depending on the size of your business, one or two profiles may do the trick, but some companies prefer to create five or six. So start with one, and move on to more as necessary.

You should have all the information you need to create a profile, so it's just a matter of organizing it. First, we suggest naming your profile and then filling in each key area: demographics, socioeconomic, psychographic, and geographical location.

 

Customer Profile Example #1:

Image of customer profile with demographic details

 

Customer Profile Example #2:

Image of customer profile with demographic details

6. Start Thinking Strategically

Once you’ve created your profiles, think about what this information tells you about your customers and how you can use it to appeal to them.

If you’re trying to reach the likes of Jim, maybe you should create targeted ads on LinkedIn, where customers like Jim spend their time browsing online. But if you’re attracting the Jessicas of the world, then your marketing funds should go toward mobile ads on TikTok and Instagram.

You can also use their interests, behaviors, and values to create social media posts, blog articles, and promos that resonate with them. But even if their preferences don’t exactly align with your product and services, you can still get creative with the way you appeal to them.

For example, in Jessica’s case, she’s drawn to traveling and hiking, so what if you added those elements to your latest ads? Or Jim, he’s serious about his health—can you create a blog series around how your product improves a healthy mind and body? Believe it or not, there are countless ways to pique your customers’ interests!

7. Periodically Update Your Profiles

Finally, as your business evolves, so might your customers. That’s why it’s important to frequently check your customer data and make the appropriate updates to ensure your profiles accurately represent your customer base.

Find Out More about EZ Texting

Creating customer profiles is just one of our many tips for lead generation. SMS marketing is another prominent way to attract and hook prospective customers. Here at EZ Texting, we offer the ultimate SMS marketing platform. Contact us today to learn more!

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