When you are developing your marketing strategy, that strategy should always be about your customer.
That seems fairly obvious, right? But really it is something that most business owners don’t do.
Many business owners look at their business and make it a reflection of them, when really, they should be making their business a reflection of their ideal customer.
The best way to do this is by creating an ideal customer profile. Ideal customer profiles are something that we do with every single client we take on to make sure we get a full picture for who it is we will be marketing to.
This blog is to help you learn a little bit about ideal customer profiles and our process to make sure they are complete and helpful for you and your marketing strategy.
What is an ideal customer profile?
Creating an Ideal customer profile is an exercise where you identify your typical customers and identify details about them that will assist your business.
The way I like to describe this to people that may have never heard of an ideal customer profile before is to think of it like you are developing a movie character. When writers and directors create characters, they don’t just write their lines and figure out the rest later. They go through a deep process where they build a character’s back story, identify what motivates them to act in the ways that they do, and complete a full picture of who they are as a person.
Ideal customer profiles aren’t much different. You are a creative character that your business can use to focus your marketing efforts.
Why is creating an ideal customer profile important for your business?
Now that you know what an ideal customer profile is, it’s time to answer the question that most of you are probably asking: Why should I care?
It’s a fair question. You might feel like you have a pretty good handle on knowing your customer now and don’t need to spend the time writing it all down.
But here’s the truth.
Even if you feel like you know your customers fairly well and think you are pretty on-point with your brand and messaging, going through the exercise of creating an ideal customer profile might help you uncover something that you hadn’t considered before and always be something that you can fall back on when you need it.
As you go through the exercises that we will detail in a minute, you’ll find quickly that an ideal customer profile is more robust than most people think. There are a lot more details to uncover than just the information on the surface that can really make a difference for your marketing.
In addition, an ideal customer profile is perfect for moments that you are looking for inspiration. Even the best marketers run out of ideas at some point and an ideal customer profile is perfect to review when you are trying to think of new ideas that will be important to them.
How do you create an ideal customer profile?
Did we pique your interest? Sweet! Let’s talk about exactly how you can create your ideal customer profile! (Note: this process can take anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on how many you create and how detailed you want to be).
- Pick ONE of your ideal customers to start with – We totally understand that most businesses have more than one ideal customer. It is important, however, to just focus on one at a time. Focusing on more than one customer profile will distract you and make all of your profiles less robust. Focus on one and do the others later.
2. Start With Demographics and Have Fun With it – The obvious first place to start is with demographic information like gender, age, and location. Once you get those settled, have some fun and actually create a character. Give this person a name and find a stock photo that represents them. This helps the rest of the process as you continue to add characteristics to that person.
3. Now think of additional items that are related to your business – Once you get the demographics done, start to think about this person’s characteristics that relate to your business. For example, if you are a company that sells golf clubs you would add interests here like the PGA tour, golf gear, and more.
4. Now think of things that have NOTHING to do with you – Yep you read that right, now we want you to name other things that your customer profile might be interested in outside of what you do as a business. We do this because it is where you will find inspiration and discover what will help you connect with your audience in a different way.
Let’s use the golf example again. Maybe one of those items that you determine someone is interested in might be “business” because many people who play golf tend to work in business roles. Now, on the surface, that might not seem to really help you at all, but you can actually make a lot of ties between golf and business that might be fun and creative.
These additional interests can really be anything from TV shows someone might watch, to foods they might like, and even more. Really use your mind to get creative. Whatever you can come up with can likely be related to your business and allow you to be much more dynamic with what you are doing.
Once you complete that step, you are done! We typically recommend revisiting your customer profiles once per quarter or so just to update and see if there is anything new in your culture that needs to be added in!
Creating an ideal customer profile can be a game-changer for your marketing. Not only does it not take long to do, but it could unlock a whole new world of ideas you would have never thought of before!