Customer Profiles: The Key to Your Company’s Success
Personalised, highly-targeted forms of marketing are doing the rounds now in the cut-throat landscape of B2B. And with oodles of attention thrown at tactics, number-crunching and process optimization, a lot could slip through our fingers, including the basic stuff, one of which is the question — “how do you make sure your marketing and sales are aligned to target a set niche of customers?”
On an even more basic level, who are these sets of customers to start with? And for enhanced business outcomes, “what is my ideal customer profile (ICP)?”. Think of your ideal customer profile as the imaginary ideal client — a client with the most successful, quickest span in your sales funnel who also doubles as a group of clients likely to become the best brand ambassadors for your brand. They’re more involved in your growth journey, and they’re the ultimate brand loyalists.
Once you’ve got this scribbled down, you should spend some time training your sales department on how to tailor communications to this league of clients to support them with your product.
Marketers are claimed to have 50% of their budget lost to unqualified leads. A customer profile spelling out who you’d rather market your product to in a personalised manner would help you cut back on the waste, align your sales & marketing efforts, and give you more stretch for your marketing spend.
Got sales? Strap yourself in as we show you the ropes on what customer profiles are and how you can carefully craft one!
What is a customer profile?
Imagine serving milk to lactose intolerants—that’s what happens when you don’t know who you’re serving (your customers.) Little wonder research done by Tech Validate found that 99% of marketers think having a customer profile can make or mar your marketing campaign.
Not to be confused with a buyer persona, a customer profile (AKA consumer profile) helps you spell out buying patterns, pain points, demographics, geographic data, and even psychographics (data relating to customer’s behaviours and beliefs) of your customers. A well-decked customer profile contains hyper-personal details, including the name, avatar, and personal information of a person, to fully understand why they’re a good fit for your products.
With a customer profile, you’re bound to skyrocket your conversion and ramp up your bottom line. With the insight you have, you can then tailor your strategy to match their behaviour. A good example of a customer profile in action—if your customer profile says X is more likely to engage with brands on social media, then consider doubling down on your social media marketing.
For B2B firms, customer profiles include details like the company size/strength, industry, revenue, and location. These factors ultimately decide whether or not they’re likely to buy from you.
Benefits of Customer Profiling
Less marketing spend
Customer profiles help you avoid the high cost of a spray-and-pray approach to your advertisement since you know the exact characteristics they share. With this, you get even more stretch for your ad spend.
To illustrate, if your customer profile frequents Ggoogle more than Facebook. You can tailor your ads through Google Ads alone rather than running an added Facebook Ads which is more likely to result in steeper expenses for your marketing campaign.
A study conducted by Customer Experience Matrix claims that 79% of consumers are more loyal to businesses that understand them.
You get to engage with your customers on a more personalised level when you’re informed about their choices, preferences, and interest. Personalised engagement improves the overall customer experience and makes them loyal to your brand.
Improved Account-Based Marketing
For companies using an ABM strategy (Account-based Marketing) strategy, personalisation of content shared with prospects is a must. Knowing a lot about each customer by profiling them is a step in the right direction.
When you know customer traits, you can tailor your marketing strategy to these target accounts accordingly, thus delivering highly targeted, highly-personalized campaigns that they will surely engage with.
If you’re B2B and your target account is a software company that loves a more hands-on approach to things, you can tell them to book a demo of how your solutions work instead of boring them with a long read like a whitepaper or a case study.
Targeted, helpful content
Knowing your customer’s preferences, lifestyle, moral values, and other data about your clients put you in the driving seat of their growth needs. So, if you’re a fitness coach, you can send out weekly emails and newsletters on the latest fitness fads and other tips that boost their fitness levels.
And when your customer profile reveals more insightful data about your clients demographic, your marketing moves are better informed. Let’s say, they are between the range of 60-80 years old, you want to avoid content that advises sprints, abdominal crunches and other high-impact exercises that may not be best for their ageing health.
How is customer profiling done?
To avoid clogging your sales pipeline with leads that just won’t trickle down your sales funnel, here’s a few chronologically-ordered steps to follow:
— Know your best customers
Note clients who you believe are getting the most out of your offerings in a way that satisfies them. It could be long-standing clients, or clients with the most referrals, and clients who never pass a chance to spin a good yarn about your company.
If you’re just starting out, think of clients your products are generally targeted at. Customer profiles are not derived in a vacuum—your target audience is an excellent place to start.
Personal Attributes (Demographics)
As earlier mooted, you want to list out attributes relevant to your offerings. Demographic attributes concerning their age, geographic location, gender, and other relevant information at your fingertips will put you in a good spot when it comes to driving value for them.
Psychographics give a deeper insight into why your customer’s shopping behaviour is what it is. It provides a deeper understanding of their values, hobbies, and beliefs with information from their aspirations, fears, lifestyle, and moral values.
This aspect of customer profiling is equally vital as it takes stock of the emotional factors behind your customer’s buying decision against solely relying on economic variables.
Deeper pockets can mean a larger appetite for your offerings. This can include information relating to income, household size, and socio-economic class (upper class, lower class, middle-class, unemployed class).
You also want to consider the firmographics if your customers are a business (B2B). This includes the industry in which they operate, their size, geography, number of employees and customers, revenue figures, branches/outlets.
A CRM tool like Efficy to track sales makes sourcing these bites of information a breeze. Other platforms like Crunchbase, Alexa, AngelList or Vainu are a repository of company-related data that can help with insights into firmographics.
When writing out your customer profile, it’s okey-doke to find that you know more about a particular set of customers than others. To fill this knowledge gap, you need more straight-from-the-source, first-hand information. You can achieve this by asking open-ended questions like, “what problem (s) have we helped you solve with our products?”
Survey your audience to get more accurate information using tools like Checkbox, Google forms, or Survey Monkey to get insights on specific customer traits. Excite them with incentives, and make the questions fun, so it’s not such a chore to fill out.
You also want to dig through this data to find common denominators and new customer traits. While at it, don’t forget to benchmark your findings against the grand plot of your sales funnel.
Platforms like Twitter and Linkedin offer a goldmine of information as you aim to get the full scoop of the conversation is around your product or services—straight from the horse’s mouth! Closely inspect this freshly harvested data for new insights that can help you nail their behaviour better.
Build & save your customer profile
After gaining deep understanding about who your customers are with the help of your freshly minted customer profile, you want to create a named template in your CRM entry where you dump all your findings.
Inform your sales & marketing teams to refer back to in the future. That way, they know leads to avoid wasting precious time and resources on and leads that are a market fit
An IBM Study reported that only 35% of companies really know their customers. To be fair, it kind of beggars belief given all the rave about customer-first, client-centric strategy.
But here’s the sitch: without walking in customers’ shoes, improving customer experience becomes guesswork, and you’ll hardly know for sure on which side your marketing bread is buttered with them, or how to help them use your products!
Forget how fantastic your product functionality or service delivery is. Customers are your greatest asset, and the best B2B marketers get this. They check the pulse of current customers and prospects, offering them a proposition that maximises customer satisfaction, earning them revved-up retention rates and increased customer lifetime value.
So, what’re you waiting for? Start building your very own customer profile to help you come up with marketing innovations, communication messages, and promotional ideas that hardly miss the mark (as they are personalised down to a fine art!)
To define, find your ideal customers, and securely store customer profiles, your best bet remains with Efficy. Book a demo today and see for yourself!