Who's Your Ideal Customer?How to Build Buyer Profiles for Your Business
One of the key components of running a successful business is being able to target the right audience for your products. Are you aware of your ideal customer’s buying preferences?
Your business could greatly benefit from developing buyer profiles.
If you’re looking to make sure that your marketing efforts reach the right people and has the right message, then creating buyer profiles is one of the best ways to achieve your objective.
Buyer profiles are generally created fictional characters that represent your ideal customer. They’re used by marketers to better understand their buyer groups in order to maximize the returns on their sales and marketing campaigns.
While you can outsource this process to an external company, you can build your own buyer profiles with a little patience, time and effort. According to IBM, the process of developing buyer profiles usually takes around six to eight weeks. Doing a good job will provide you with extensive profiles and a firm foundation for your marketing campaigns.
1. IDENTIFY BUYER GROUPS
The first and easiest source of data for creating profiles is your existing customer base. First, eliminate wholesalers and volume buyers (if applicable). Then examine your products and think broadly about who are making purchases.
For example, do most customers buy your products for themselves or for others (as gifts for instance)? Are your products mostly sold during certain holidays? Do they cater to specific demographics such as age or gender?
If your products are mostly purchased for others, you may find it useful to create buyer profiles for both those who buy and for those who receive them. This way you can create separate marketing campaigns for each target audience.
2. IDENTIFY KEY DATA
After classifying your customers into broad categories, you’ll need to get more specific information to create your buyer profiles. Here are some data to start with:
• Job Title
• Educational level
• Household income
• Civil status
• Languages spoken
• Social Media membership
• Favorite websites
• Motivation for buying your products or services
• Concerns about your products or business
• Priorities (What’s most important to them about your business?)
As you go through the creation process, you may find other data that are relevant to your buyers, or find some of those listed above to be unnecessary. Since each business is unique, you will need to decide which makes the most sense for your marketing activities.
3. GATHER INFORMATION
Now that you’ve created your buyer groups and identified important specific data, it’s time to gather information. Begin with info you already have in your customer database.
If you haven’t set up customer accounts before, then this is the best time to start. Scroll through your customers’ order history and you’re almost sure to find valuable insights there. Take a little time to study them in order to build good buyer profiles.
Expand the information in your customer accounts through product promotions, online surveys and polls. For deeper insights, select representatives of your loyal customers, past buyers, and new customers to interview. Use incentives such as discounts, gifts or promo contests to get them to give you some of their time.
Conduct your interviews through email, over the phone, in-store and through your website. It’s a good idea to conduct them through different media since each method will provide different customer types.
To expand your profiles to not only buyers, but potential customers, use tools such as Google Analytics to determine the demographics of potential buyers on your website. If you have branded social media pages or channels, use Facebook Insights or Twitter Analytics to get relevant data.
From this gathering of information you’ll be able to get a comprehensive look at your ideal customer.
No two businesses are exactly alike, so buyer profiles for a business in one industry may look completely different from any other in the same industry.
That said, here are a few examples of buyer profiles and their characteristics curated by Artifacia.
1. Discount Chaser
- Rarely buys products on full price and has no brand loyalty.
- Always looking for discount offers and cheap deals.
- Motivated by early access to discounts and deal selling websites.
- Frustrated by high delivery charges and taxes
- Shops both online and in-store to get maximum discounts.
2. Inspiration Seeker
- Has money to buy what she wants.
- Looks for regular updates about new products.
- Motivated by product images across various channels such as social media, websites, magazines, brochures, etc.
- Needs to be inspired to buy.
- Frustrated by finding a product on a different channel but the journey towards actual purchase takes too long.
- Shops mostly online.
3. Power Shopper
- Expert level shopper, has great spending power and frequently buys for others.
- Looks for great recommendations, new and trending things.
- Motivated by quick shopping features, fast transactions and good product suggestions for gifts.
- Frustrated by no inspiration for buying new things.
- Buys more online.
4. High-Value Customer
- Loyal customer to a brand.
- Looks for high-quality branded products.
- Motivated by product recommendations from her choice brands.
- Frustrated by not being able to get her desired item.
5. Impulsive Shopper
- Likes going over product details.
- Buys a lot of complementary products before making the final payment.
- Looks for good cross-product recommendations and high-value product bundles.
- Motivated by attractive product features and discounts on product bundles.
- Frustrated by high delivery charges on small items.
The key to building your own buyer profiles is putting specific information on the examples above. What’s the average age of your power shoppers? Are there more males than females among your impulsive buyers? Where do most of your discount shoppers come from?
Once you’ve added details to your buyer profiles, continue to build your inventory. As the market reacts to your brand, buyers and their profiles will change as well. As you continue to monitor your customer base, your marketing campaigns will change accordingly.
If you need a little help building your buyer profiles, or digital marketing in general, contact us. We’ll lighten the load for you.
Digital Marketing Strategist
Mark has been honing his digital marketing and analytical skills since 2009. He’s delivered a broad range of web applications that include websites, search engine optimization, landing pages and social media marketing to various clients based locally and in the U.S., Canada and U.K.
He has extensive experience in (offline) sales of digital hardware products and real estate prior to his foray into the digital marketing industry.
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