When you’re just starting out in the world of business, you have lots to consider. It’s easy to overlook elements that don’t seem significant but will actually if applied correctly, be an enormous driving force for your marketing campaigns. Customer profiling is one such example. Jessica Henderson, marketing blogger, and editor at 10 Best Web Hosting UK Services describes what a customer profile is, why you need it, how to build one, and importantly, how to use it to your advantage.
Your customer’s profile
Due to fitsmallbusiness.com: a customer profile is a profile of your typical customer. You may have a rough, generalized view of your target audience. Customer profiling is strategically gathering relevant data to build a complete and definitive picture of who your customers are. You are pinpointing as many details as possible so that you feel you know your customers. The more information you gather, the more targeted your campaigns, content, and efforts can be.
A strong customer profile will include details such as:
- shopping habits;
- personality traits;
- income level;
- hobbies and interests;
- dominant social media platforms.
Why this matters
Customer profiling matters on a wider scale as you’re building your brand and establishing a firm foothold in your industry, and on a small scale, with individual marketing tactics. Your company’s dedicated and loyal fans and followings are not random. They are built up over time and most followers have specific aspects in common.
Successful marketers know what these common traits are. Without doing so, you risk isolating your targeted audience and do marketing campaigns to the wrong people. Your customer profile will influence your content style, color scheme, imagery, terminology, and your overall marketing strategies.
Let’s take a look at an example
You have a fantastic business idea to sell health shakes. Your first step would be to determine whether there is actually a market for your idea. You can learn this by gathering data from consumer surveys, social media groups, and competitor analysis. Once you have firmly established that there is indeed a market for your health shakes, you will need to gather information about your future audience. This will be your customer profile.
You will start with a general idea, for example, people wanting to be healthy and/or lose weight. They will likely take pride in their appearance and participate in some sort of physical activity to keep in shape. Your analysis would delve deeper. It could be that your product appeals more to people who want to lose weight or “yo-yo” dieters, rather than fanatic health buffs. The differences between these two groups of people will be significant.
A health and fitness buff, for example, may be far more dedicated to their workout routine, be much more self-disciplined, and have a keen interest in reading health and fitness blogs. They may see your shakes as a long-term contribution to their good health.
A yo-yo dieter, on the other hand, may very well be keen on your shakes for a little while, but their personality is one that chops and changes quite rapidly. They may lack the self-discipline of the above health buffs and find it difficult to commit to your shakes long-term. They may also enjoy reading weight loss blogs, joining weight loss groups, or performing quick and easy workout routines.
Additionally, one group may be much more able to afford your products, while the other might not. You see the enormous difference between the two personas and how they can impact your marketing campaigns? Your customer profile will determine where your customers are, their interests, the terminology you use, and even the price of your product.
Of course, this is just a hypothetical example. To determine which of the two categories that your consumers fall into, you will need to gather your data.
Gathering your data
Setting up Google analytics
Your data holds the key to your success. Your first step is to create your Google Analytics account. During this process you will be asked what you want to measure: Web, Apps, or Apps and Web. You will then be asked to provide your website name, URL, industry, and time zone.
After you’ve finished setting up, you will be given a tracking ID and code. Copy and paste this code to every page of your website so that Google can gather the data.
You can now go ahead and set your goals. These are located in the “Admin” section which you will find in the bottom left-hand corner of your Analytics homepage. You will be given goal template options such as to place an order, contact us, and social shares, to name just a few. You can name your goal and set the type, before completing the requested details.
Your goals give you measurable things to work towards in a tactful, strategic, and purposeful way. Goals are invaluable to any marketing campaign.
Types of information available
There’s lots of information to track. Think of each category as a piece of the jigsaw. Take a look at the screenshot below.
We’re about to go through some of the most valuable things to track in relation to building your customer profile and achieving your goals.
Your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that land on your website and leave without visiting another page. Your aim is to keep this as low as possible because a high bounce rate will negatively impact your SEO, conversions, and overall site activity. If your bounce rate is high, this indicates a problem with your landing page. Let’s consider some possible reasons for this issue:
- a lack of interesting and engaging content;
- unclear call-to-action;
- you’re not attracting the right kind of audience;
- you’re not persuasive enough to encourage further interaction.
This information could apply to every page on your website. You may notice a pattern in behavior, where a large proportion of your audience is leaving your site on a specific page. This will suggest that something on that page is harming your efforts. Only knowing this, you can work on sourcing and rectifying the problem.
Demographics: age, gender, and location
Age, gender, and location are three of the most prominent aspects of your audience. Promoting products to a 50-year-old male, for example, will be significantly different from marketing to a 20-year-old female. Your terminology, strategies, writing style, and overall brand image should be tailored accordingly.
Remember, the trick is to look for patterns. While you may get a mix of ages, you may notice that the majority of visitors that go to more than one page are in their 30s. This indicates a higher rate of interest from people in their 30s. As such, you will be able to add that to your customer profile.
With the increase in smartphone usage, it’s never been so important to make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices. With Google Analytics, you can check what devices visitors are using to access your website.
If your bounce rate is high among mobile users, it would illustrate a problem with the mobile version of your website. Common difficulties are:
- slow loading pages;
- slow loading widgets, forms, and images;
- elements not fitting properly on a mobile screen;
- elements not being displayed at all on a mobile screen.
To alleviate these problems:
- choose a mobile-friendly theme;
- minimize the amount of non-essential widgets, plugins, and animations;
- select a powerful hosting package, such as VPS, from a reputable provider;
- regularly check for site, extension and plugin updates;
- regularly clean your website’s cache.
Optimizing your website for mobile devices will give you a true indication of what your target customers mostly use to visit your website. Hence, another detail for your customer profile can be incorporated into your campaigns. It will also increase visitor retention, the number of pages your audience visits, and your SEO.
Of course, there are lots of more details you need to gather. These can be collected through A/B testing. You can use Google Optimize to create your tests.
A/B testing is the process of running two web pages, ads, email campaigns, etc. that are identical aside from one single element. It is essentially testing which version performs the best. You can use this method to identify issues with page performance (like a high bounce rate), or simply to decide on the right wording, colors, placements, images, landing pages, or virtually any other element you can think of.
Let’s take a look at an example
If your contact page is receiving lots of traffic but not many people are going through the process of contacting you, there could be a specific reason or multiple reasons. Your job is to pinpoint what those reasons are.
You may begin testing your call-to-action button on your contact form by presenting two color variations to random visitors. Some may be presented with a blue version, others red. You need to wait for the test to end and identify which yielded the best results. In this example, we are assuming red wins.
Using your shiny new red button, you can then go on to test further elements of your form such as its placement on your web page. One version may be placed on the right and the other on the left (both with red buttons). You wait some more to see which performs best. In our example, left wins.
Further still, you may decide to test the number of fields in your contact form: 3 vs 4. Let’s pretend 3 generated the most results. You now know that your target customer is more likely to respond to a red call-to-action button on a left-sided contact form with 3 fields. So, your results will look like this:
Use this information, not only on your contact forms but also with other forms of communication such as marketing emails and ads. Continue to test elements to streamline your efforts and add to your customer profile until you have a complete picture of who your typical customer is.
Further Elements To Test
Okay, so you have your customer profile, but what can you do with it to further enhance your marketing efforts? The answer is to test further elements. Here are some more aspects to test that will help you hone in on your audience even more:
- Power words are words that are used as powerful emotional triggers. Emotions are often the motivation behind purchases and conversions. Consider how often you buy something out of necessity compared to desire. Most markets rely on their customers wanting their products as opposed to needing them. And, there’s an emotion behind every “want”, whether it’s happiness, excitement, fear of missing out (FOMO), curiosity, nostalgia, or intrigue. To use power words effectively, begin by determining what emotion you want to trigger. Use or test power words in your content to help identify which emotions resonate most with your target customer and spark the most interest.
- Email subject lines. The email content is worthless without an irresistible subject line. Test different words and lengths to find the perfect combination.
- Products promotion. You can see which products your audience prefers by showing them different products and analyzing the amount of interest each one generates. For example, you can A/B test a search engine ad, one describing one product, another describing another product. You might spot a pattern of interest among your visitors.
Preferences and trends change over time. For this reason, analyzing your audience should remain a high priority. Keeping a close eye on your audience’s activity will help you adapt your marketing efforts and catch any issues (such as a decline in visitors) before they become problematic. This will give you time to put things right.