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How to identify and profile your ideal customer in 3 steps

Leveraging both demographic and psychographic data
By Garrett Gingerich, October 7, 2021 // Marketing

[About a 4 MIN read]

You’ve found yourself in an unusual position. You’ve built a product or service that your customer LOVES. There’s high demand, sales are increasing daily, everything is going great. And now you’re ready to scale your marketing efforts because, well, you have a proven product or service that people want and if you throw some dollars behind advertising … you might just make even more money. The caveat? You don’t really know who you’re audience is or how to target them. Or maybe you’ve been all-in on one audience type, but there are others out there you may not know about. To address these challenges, we’ve written the blueprint for how to identify and profile your ideal customer in 3 easy steps.

Step 1 – Develop a Baseline

You likely have a ton of demographic data about your audience that you may not even realize you have. Therefore the first step is to gather existing data points from your digital profiles to understand the demographics of your current audience — the people who already have visited your website, followed you on social media, or even made a purchase.

Dive into Google Analytics

This may seem obvious, but it’s often skipped. You may think of Google Analytics to track and report on website visits, total sessions, bounce rates, conversions, etc., and it’s great for those things. But there’s also an Audience tab that will start to paint the picture of people who are actively interacting with your brand online. The specific data points you’ll want to focus on include:

  • Age and gender breakdown
  • Affinity interest categories
  • In-market interest segments
  • Geographies: Country > State > City
  • Mobile technology usage

Review Facebook Audience Insights

Similar to Google Analytics, Facebook Audience Insights will also provide similar demographic information, including:

  • Age and gender breakdown
  • Top countries
  • Top cities

However, you’re also able to dive deeper with interest filters that allow you to draw assumptions surrounding your audience as well as identify other channels and/or publications your customer is interacting with. Knowing if your audience interacts with CNN or Fox News is more powerful than age and gender breakdowns because it provides a window into values and priorities. This exercise will also expose new advertising channels you should be considering.

Leverage Shopify or other e-Commerce Data (if relevant)

The above data is great, but if you have e-commerce data … even better. This is a direct window into the minds and wallets of your customer. Start by focusing on four key data points:

  • Top products sold – This is the obvious one. But it allows you to understand what’s important to your customer.
  • Average order value – Is it high? Or low? This will allow you to understand their effective buying power.
  • Top referrers by session – This will show you key sites funneling people to your website, which will allow you to understand where they’re coming from but also what sorts of other content they find relevant.
  • Online store sessions by social source – Different social platforms have different audiences. Identifying the most popular will allow you to further hone who your customer is.

Step 2 – Identify Psychographics with a Survey

With the above baseline established, you’ll be able to make data-driven, fundamental assumptions about the type of customer you attract. Now, this will allow you to ask questions that are relevant to the audience and reduce the number of total questions all in an effort to optimize survey response rates. These questions will focus on identifying more psychographic types of data, with a goal of discovering:

  • The professions your customers are in
  • Their needs and frustrations
  • What they value and prioritize
  • What motivates them
  • How they research purchases for products like yours
  • How they make purchasing decisions
  • What media they pay attention to
  • How they originally found out about you
  • Why they decided to buy from you

How do you get this information? Write your questions, upload to a platform like Typeform (our favorite), and send an email to your distribution list providing a small incentive for answering a few questions. Easy as that.

Step 3 – Create Persona(s)

Once research is complete, combine all information to create a customer persona. This will become the description of your ideal customer(s) as if he or she were a real person. Yes, a real person. Your person should have a name because it will allow you to emphasize with them and help guide your ongoing decision … What would Todd do?

Your persona should outline the following attributes:

  • General behavioral characteristics of the person
  • Motivations
  • Purchase behavior
  • How/where to reach
  • Media consumption
  • Digital savviness
  • Content requirements
  • Needs vs. Frustrations
  • Purchase influencers
  • And any other additional elements that may present themselves in the research

There you have it. Taking these 3 steps to truly identifying and profiling your ideal customer will continue to pay dividends as you invest in scaling your marketing efforts. If you need support guiding you through the process. Don’t hesitate to automatically book time with me for a discussion.

 

Author

Garrett Gingerich
Garrett Gingerich

An occasional rodeo cowboy, our Senior Director of Marketing Services has well-rounded business principles, a passion for design, and a “no bull” approach. Garrett encourages the team to think critically about each digital and interactive marketing solution. He asks the salient, probative questions, then saddles up and takes the bull by the horns to create value for clients.

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