Learn how to create customer profiles and target your ideal consumers with practical examples, templates, and marketing strategies in this comprehensive guide.
November 17, 2023
Customer Profiles: Effective Targeting Strategies with Real-life Examples
Today, we will delve into the multitude of benefits associated with client profiles, discuss how to effectively incorporate them into your business strategy, and explore various IT solutions tailored to different company architectures.
What Is a Customer Profile?
Customer data is collected from multiple sources — online and offline
A customer profile is a detailed and dynamic representation of a customer, capturing a wide range of information beyond basic details. It encompasses previous purchases, browsing habits, responses to marketing efforts, and customer feedback. This rich compilation of data paints a comprehensive picture of the customer, enabling businesses to deeply understand and connect with them on a personal level. Through these profiles, companies can tailor their offerings and communication strategies to align with each customer’s unique interests and needs. This approach not only strengthens the relationship between the customer and the brand but also ensures that the experiences provided are both relevant and valuable. Ultimately, this strategy culminates in enhanced customer satisfaction and prolonged loyalty.
Benefits of a Unified Customer Profile
Recognizing the importance of customer profiling is crucial for businesses striving to excel in today’s competitive environment. Customer profiles act as a strategic guide, offering detailed insights into customer preferences, behaviors, and purchasing history. This strategy is invaluable for personalizing offerings, ensuring that every interaction feels authentic and resonates with the individual customer. Furthermore, consumer profiles allow businesses to allocate resources more effectively, refine their strategies, and swiftly adapt to changes in the market. In essence, a customer profile is not just a beneficial addition to your marketing strategy, but a fundamental catalyst for delivering outstanding customer experiences and driving sustained growth.
Unified User Experience
- Regular consumer: Purchasing products for home use.
- Restaurant owner: Purchasing products for the restaurant.
- Store owner: Purchasing products for the store.
- Business owner with an office: Purchasing products for the office.
To address this, METRO assigns separate cards, phone numbers, and emails to each customer role, ensuring tailored and relevant communications and a unified experience for each role. Maestra helps the brand consolidate all customer interactions into a unified profile, enabling the retailer to send precise communications for café purchases, store supplies, and personal items to the right channels. This streamlined approach enhances customer experience while ensuring effective communication across all customer personas.
Maintaining data integrity is crucial, as it extends beyond ensuring accurate and personalized customer interactions; it has the potential to influence and reshape strategic business directions. A compelling example is a case involving one of our clients managing two brand databases. Initial market research suggested a mere 2% customer overlap between the brands. However, after merging the databases and employing advanced deduplication algorithms, a significant 40% overlap was revealed. This insight highlighted the brands' unintentional competition and led to a substantial shift in communication strategies, underscoring the transformative power of accurate data.
The results were striking, with a 63.96% reduction in CPM (Cost Per Mille) and a 43.76% decrease in the cost per order.
Absence of such a unified profile complicates the task of performing meaningful analyses and tracking conversion trends. This challenge is exacerbated when initial interactions are recorded in one system, while the final, crucial action — such as a purchase — is logged in another, such as an operational CRM, isolated from marketing data.
This approach aimed to determine the most effective timing for sending personalized product recommendations. The emails, featuring a list of previously purchased items and a “Repeat My Previous Order” button, were designed to simplify the repurchasing process. To evaluate the effectiveness of this strategy, Beethoven conducted an A/B test, comparing the NBA algorithm’s recommendations with emails sent based on average purchase intervals. The results, significant at a 95% confidence level, suggested that integrating machine learning with customer profiles can offer a more nuanced approach to customer communication compared to traditional methods.
Types of Customer Profile Data
Understanding the various dimensions through which customer data can be segmented is crucial for building a comprehensive customer profile — use the features below as an example of the types of data you can collect and use.
- Marital status
- Job title
- Brand engagement
- Purchase history and spending habits
- Product/service usage patterns
- Level of attention required
- Lifestyle choices
- Personality traits
- Core values and beliefs
- Aspirations and goals
- Pain points and challenges
- Religious beliefs
- Political affiliations
- Where they live — including city, town, neighborhood, region, country
- Cultural background
- Workplace location
Leveraging these diverse data types enables businesses to tailor their marketing and communication strategies effectively. Through careful analysis, companies can craft personalized messages, identify the most effective communication channels for different customer segments, uncover opportunities for upselling and cross-selling, and ultimately enhance the overall customer experience.
Strategies for Unifying Customer Data in Different Business Settings
The first scenario occurs when a company has multiple IT systems that are integrated, such as a backend ERP and a website management system. In this case, a unified customer identifier is most likely utilized by default.
The second scenario presents itself when several IT systems operate independently of each other, such as a backend ERP and a custom-built CRM. To create a unified customer profile in this case, IT specialists are required to integrate these disparate systems. This integration could involve establishing a new, unified customer identifier or selecting a "master system" to process data from different systems and lead the integration process.
1. Building business operations around a unified customer profile from the start. This architecture entails a master system at the core, complete with a customer identifier, to which all other IT systems connect in real time. This method ensures optimal data quality but typically involves higher implementation costs.
2. In the second structure, different business processes such as sales, customer acquisition, retention, and inventory management operate on separate IT systems. In these cases, tools like Maestra can be used to unify these systems by gathering, integrating, and cleaning the data from each system to create a single customer profile for marketing purposes. This approach is generally quicker to implement, but some data loss is inevitable during integration.
In practice, businesses often start with a "side integration," using the unified profile for specific functions while maintaining existing systems. As confidence in the unified profile grows and data quality improves, more systems may gradually transition to using it as the master data source, evolving from the decentralized approach to a more centralized architecture.
How to Create Customer Profiles: A Step-by-Step Guide
By following these steps, you will be able to create detailed and effective customer profiles, leading to enhanced customer experiences, increased loyalty, and business growth.
Customer Profile Example
Building a detailed customer profile is essential for tailoring your offers and communications to the right audience. While the exact components of your customer profile template might differ based on your business’s specific needs, having a foundational structure can be beneficial. The example below demonstrates a customer profile that a shoe brand may potentially have:
With the details listed in this customer’s profile, the shoe retailer can deeply understand and cater to this individual’s specific needs. By knowing Cole’s shoe size, the brand can send him precise shoe recommendations that match available inventory. His foot width and athletic interests further refine these suggestions, ensuring he receives options aligned with his basketball and running pursuits, rather than irrelevant offerings like size 9 soccer boots. Additionally, recognizing Cole’s preference for online shopping empowers the brand to optimize their digital marketing strategies, emphasizing online campaigns and advertisements. For customers who favor in-store experiences, the focus would shift towards strategies encouraging in-store visits.
To compile customer data into a single profile, a comprehensive customer identifier is required, ensuring data consistency across all business facets. It’s imperative that all of the company’s IT systems are either directly integrated with each other or connected via a unifying system. Furthermore, it’s essential to enrich customer data as needed, allowing for the testing and validation of hypotheses. This strategic approach ensures that businesses can leverage customer information effectively, paving the way for more personalized and impactful customer interactions.