What makes our most successful relationships resilient? Whether your answer is good communication, a long history of trust, or an almost supernatural ability to know what one another needs at a particular time, it all boils down to data. We use our knowledge of that person’s behavior, environment, culture, personality, and goals to shape the way we support them and respond on a personal level.
That’s exactly how businesses should approach their target audience. Customer profiles, also known as buyer or customer personas, are fictionalized characterizations of your target audience. They let us connect with them on an emotional, intuitive level so we can best respond to their needs at every stage of the purchasing cycle.
Use data to develop your customer profile
Successful marketing and customer retention efforts depend on information. Source and accumulate data that indicates and predicts customer preferences and behavior using social listening tools, direct response campaigns, third-party review sites, website analytics tools, and A/B testing, as well as industry trend reports.
Answers to these questions will help shape your customer profile’s “personality” and also keep your outreach efforts on-target:
- Where are they in the purchasing process?
- What are their specific pain points, and how will your product address them?
- What experiences or interactions have they had with your brand?
- On which devices do they research and purchase?
- Which are their preferred social media channels?
- What are their greatest influences when making purchasing decisions?
An elegant data management system will help you identify new questions you wouldn’t think to ask, and also help you access the information you need for a more robust and dynamic customer profile.
Imagine your customer profiles in real world situations
Your data builds the framework for your buyer persona. Next, creativity and intuition further flesh it out to become the next best thing to a living, breathing representative of your intended market. This helps your team better understand your customer profile on a human, emotional level.
For example, you might include the following description of a retail customer on a brief you send to your content creation team:
“Our target audience is college-educated, Gen Y. They’re looking for durable furniture using sustainably-sourced materials and are willing to spend about three times what they would at their local Scandinavian ‘assemble-it-yourself’ chain for each item. They generally use Amazon to read reviews before purchasing and seek out YouTube videos to get a sense of how the product performs under ‘real world’ conditions. Eighty-nine percent of their media consumption is on smartphones, about 50/50 Android/iOS. They’re wary of sales pitches; keep the tone conversational, as if you’re a knowledgeable friend giving advice over a glass of wine. Be sure to also link to our ‘commitment to transparency’ page.”
The more details you add, the easier it is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes as well as build campaigns that speak their language. Your audience is constantly inundated with data. Use yours to cut through the static and appeal directly to them.
Keep your customer profiles relevant and agile
Data-driven growth applies not only to your company but also to your customer profile. If 2020 has taught us anything about marketing, it’s the importance of understanding how our audience weathers unexpected changes. What’s happening with their supply chains? How have their priorities shifted? And just as importantly, how have those changes affected your target market’s behavior?
Keep in touch with your audience and use that data to update your customer profiles. You can then also tailor your message as appropriate. Next-level marketing strategies use predictive modeling based on accumulated data for a more accurate and dynamic customer profile.
Empower your team with the right data management tools
The only limit to the number of customer profiles you can build and evolve is your data management capability. Real-time reporting, on-demand access, and visualization tools that work for your entire team put your brand in a position to meet your audience’s touchpoints at the right time, where they’ll most likely engage.
Our experts at Helios can build a data management and integration system for you. This allows you to access all your data across multiple platforms. Our analysis and visualization services also transform data into information that’s meaningful and relatable to your entire team.