It is no secret that consumer profiling is one of the most valuable tools you can use in your marketing strategy. There are two ways to approach it. You can create profiles for your current customers or fictional ones for your ideal customers. Your chosen method will depend on your goals and vary slightly depending on your strategy.
But overall, having customer profiles is a fabulous way to understand your target audience and customer demographic better. In fact, it can transform your marketing strategy. You’ll have buyer personas and a clear idea of potential customers moving forward. And this way, you’ll better connect with your target audience.
To be crystal clear, profiling customers is so crucial that it is almost non-negotiable. Whether you run a restaurant, e-commerce store, or retail shop, profiling is essential. How you build these profiles is up to you. You could use data collection strategies or create profiles based on secondary research.
This guide will introduce you to all the essential elements of running a profiling strategy. We’ll cover everything from how to get data for customer segmentation to a straightforward definition and budgeting guidance. Does this sound good? Let’s get going - you’ll be ready to start your profiling in just 5 minutes.
What Is Consumer Profiling Meaning?
Before we go any further, it’s essential to understand what consumer profiling means. What is the official definition? In short, it is just creating profiles of customers and consumers. The form of the profile can be different – you can display it visually aesthetically or just as a list.
But in general, you’ll include critical factors about this individual as part of your target market. For example, their gender, education level, and vital interests. You should also have things like income and occupation type.
What exactly you include in a consumer profile depends on your target audience. Think about the main categories you can split your demographic into. Then, think about what qualities customers could have that would benefit you. You may be launching a new product mainly aimed at back-to-school mums. Or you are more focused on school-aged customers, offering revision season discounts.
These profiles can be fictional, meaning they represent your ideal customers. This is a bit like how novelists create profiles to ensure their story is consistent with characterization. Profiles help you stay consistent with marketing. Otherwise, they can use real, current customers to remain consistent.
Everyone should have fictional customer profiles just as a bare minimum. You want to know who you are targeting with your marketing strategy. You may also want to invest in profiling existing customers, especially if you’re planning new products or changes.
What Is Consumer Profiling Good For?
So, with that in mind, what is consumer profiling good for? Why bother using this strategy? Profiling customers ensures that you are correctly focusing your marketing efforts. It is like trying to walk a tightrope blindfolded if you need to target your audience effectively. A solid customer profiling strategy helps you see clearly which direction to go. And your system will gain results remarkably quickly and efficiently.
There are a few more different benefits and advantages, though. Let’s take a closer look at a summary of the main reasons to use profiling.
- More structured marketing
As shown in the above analogy, marketing structure is massively beneficial. It will streamline your approach and achieve the desired results.
- It connects you with customers.
At Beambox, we always preach about connecting with customers. This is because the connection is the root of all success, and when it’s lacking, the source of all problems. When you have unhappy customers, there will be a need for more connection. When you have happy customers, you understand their needs, can communicate effectively with them, and essentially read their minds. Profiling is how to achieve this.
Finally, it boosts your profit - and who doesn’t want that? Profit increase is one of the most significant benefits of profiling. It works on a simple premise. If you profile, you understand. If you understand, you target effectively. And if you target effectively, you make more money. Simple, right?
Are you ready to embark on your profiling journey? It is a remarkable asset to your business and an excellent strategy. When it comes to tools to assist you with customer profiles, you’ll be glad to hear that there are plenty. Consumer profiling tools don’t have to cost the world either; many are free. If you run your profiling strategy, having the right tools can make all the difference. You can use them to shape, direct, and run your profiling campaign.
A quick Google search will yield thousands of valuable tools. But to save time and effort, consider these top three.
HubSpot is one of the most excellent profiling tools and creates avatars with personal details. This is a great choice for anyone who likes visual profiles. It also has a customer relationship management platform that you can use for other aspects of your business.
Everyone loves Google Analytics, and this is one of the best free tools for customer profiles. You’ll get insights into engagement patterns as well as general demographic insights. This is the best tool if you want a cheap option that looks at overviews and patterns at large.
This software provides profiles and advice on building better long-term customer relationships. Insightly is a fantastic option if you want a tool that offers profiles and guidance on the next steps.
Remember, thousands - if not millions - of tools out there can help. If you have 15 minutes or so, just Google it. Researching is easy.
How Much To Budget for a Profiling Strategy
Budgeting is, unfortunately, something that everyone should pay attention to. This isn’t just coming from a lack of mentality either; budgeting is a vital part of business decisions. So, when setting up a profiling strategy, this is the same. How much should you budget to get this off the ground and running to its best potential?
Interestingly, profiling can actually be cost-free. That is if you can set aside a decent chunk of time. We’d say a minimum of 3-4 hours initially and 30 minutes a week going forward. This should be adequate to tackle your profiles manually and cost-free.
If you don’t have the time and would prefer to outsource your profiles, prepare to budget. If not a staff member or freelancer, you’ll likely be investing in software at a minimum. If you want software, look at the going market rates.
HubSpot starts at a basic package for just under $45 a month. A professional package costs around $350 a month, while their most premium package is $1,200 monthly. So you should shop around and get clear on what you need from software.
As for freelancers, rates for marketers run between $19 and $200 per hour. And if you hire a full-time marketer, you can expect to pay $40,000 to $90,000 a year. Phew, right? Of course, for this, you’d be getting all your marketing, not just profiles.
We recommend taking your time to crunch your business budget. These costs are tax-deductible and can benefit your business. However, you need to know which is right for you.
What Sorts of Businesses Benefit From Consumer Profiles?
Every business benefits from customer profiles - whether you’re huge or just a start-up. Creating profiles of your ideal customer should be the first step when establishing your target market. Doing so will help you select an excellent target audience and take considered first steps. You want to take the most direct route to success, right?
That said, businesses that don’t rely on organic foot traffic will most benefit from profiling. Companies with regular foot traffic and excellent location marketing get many organic customers. Because of this, there’s less pressure to attract the right target customers. There’s a local focus, meaning lots of customers find you.
Whereas businesses that don’t have this organic foot traffic need more in the way of customer profiles. Online stores really need a solid profiling strategy to complement SEO efforts. Having these profiles helps to attract the right people to your business. This is especially true when the right people can’t just ‘walk past and resonate’.
Final Thoughts: How Quick Are Results?
Customer profiles are a great tool and a non-negotiable strategy for your business. How quickly can you expect results, though? Is this a strategy that will be beneficial in the short term as well as the long term? In short, yes. You can expect immediate benefits from profiles.
The reason is that profiles give you immediately better insight into your customers. By simply engaging with the profiling process, you invest in understanding your target customers. For instance, just 5 minutes later, you’ll know the top interests of your current customers. This is fantastic. Say you have to make a business decision about a new product later that day; you’ll be better informed to make it.
Of course, it’s also vital that you continue profiling your customers, even as your business develops. Think of customer profiles as a house plant - something to water to keep it alive and well. But similarly, you will get immediate results just from the knowledge it gives you.
Are you wondering where Beambox comes into this? Our WiFi marketing platform is a fabulous way to collect valuable customer details. All you need to do is sign up and create a captive portal system. This system then contains details in exchange for WiFi access. Start your Beambox free trial now. Consumer profiling has never been more straightforward.
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