What is a customer profile in business

Buyer Personas & Customer Profiles: This is how you address your customers

A thorough understanding of your target customers is a prerequisite for a effective customer approach and thus for effective marketing activities. But many entrepreneurs find it difficult to systematically carry out customer analyzes and derive approaches for action. This article presents two approaches that you can use to structure the relevant Characteristics of your target group can examine.

Why is it important to understand your own customers?

Experience has shown that marketing measures of all kinds have certain wastage. The right customers are not always addressed and the right message is not always selected for the customer. The effectiveness - and thus the cost efficiency - of marketing activities can be significantly improved through a high level of understanding of your own target group.

It is not just about advertising messages and the selection of suitable advertising media. Especially for communication via the company website and social media is one high target group orientation a prerequisite for success. You can score here if you provide exactly the content that is really relevant for your customers. Appropriate content

  • pass over search engines exactly the readers on your company website who are interested in your offers,
  • motivate readers to Share about their social networks,
  • give prospective customers the feeling of being understood and of you "to be in the right place“.

A good Marketing communication does not primarily describe one's own offers. Rather, it picks up customers with their wishes, goals and dreams. But especially smaller companies, the self-employed and start-ups often have problems with one systematic customer analysis. There is usually no budget available for extensive market research or there is a lack of knowledge, time and experience.

Alternatively, you can use two newer methods. Due to the possibilities of the internet and the increasing dynamics of economic life, proven models and methods were less and less suitable. For that developed new approaches - also for an actionable customer analysis.

This is how you find the ideal target customer

The two approaches presented here have in common that they tend to be based on one structured information collection based on formal market research methods. The starting point is always the Target or desired customers of the company.

These do not necessarily have to match the current customers or the currently available customers. Small and individual entrepreneurs in particular are very personally involved in their business. Not only the offer has to fit the customer, but the customer The customer must also match the personality of the entrepreneur. The starting questions are:

  • Who do I want to work with?
  • Which customers can I best help with my offer?

For this optimal target customers First, all available information is collated and supplemented with assumptions and expectations.

Method 1: Buyer Personas

The concept of Buyer Persona or Reader Persona comes from content marketing. It is very popular in the field of bloggers and online entrepreneurs. There is a recommendation that all texts are practical for a single ideal reader or customer to write.

This enables a very high level of target accuracy in communication: If the reader has the feeling that a text was written precisely for him, then he feels understood, builds trust in the sender and is more likely to be ready to buy.

A buyer persona is defined as follows:

"A buyer persona describes a non-real person who is supposed to represent a typical customer with his socio-demographic needs, challenges and behavioral patterns."

Here is a fictitious target customer, which represents the entire target group, described as detailed and real as possible. For example, questions about

  • its demography,
  • his typical everyday life,
  • his hobbies,
  • Problems and
  • Preferences answered.

The advantage of this method is that it is often easier imagine and describe a real person. Market analyzes such as demographic statistics, on the other hand, remain rather abstract and are therefore more difficult to implement in communication.

Method 2: customer profiles

The concept of Customer profiles is part of the Value Proposition Canvas. Then a customer profile describes a specific customer segment in the categories Customer tasks, problems and profits. The company can compare these with a suitable offer, which is described in the categories of products / services, profit generator and problem solver.

With this model, relevant information about the target customers is structured in three categories:

  1. Customer tasks: Things your customers try to do at work or in everyday life
  2. Profits: Results and benefits that customers want
  3. Problems: Anything that keeps your clients from getting the job done; Risks in performing tasks

The advantage of this method is that systematic and product-related customer analysis. The three categories offer an intuitive structure that directs the analysis to relevant issues.

Customer analysis: you have to pay attention to this

Both forms of customer analysis should based as far as possible on reliable knowledge. If these are missing, one can fall back on plausible assumptions in the initial phase.

In any case, buyer personas and customer profiles should be used continuously updated, supplemented and specified. In this way, assumptions can be replaced by knowledge. The most important means are Customer discussions and surveys.

Did youseveral clearly definable target groups, you should of course create separate profiles for each customer group. Corresponding profiles can also be created for other addressees of corporate communications, e.g. cooperation partners or interest groups.

In any case, the goal is yoursMarketing communication better aligned with the actual interests and needs of the addressees. Simply by picking up the right customer problems and needs, you can have an impact on the perception of your customers unique selling point create.

Dagmar Recklies is co-founder and managing director of Recklies Management Project GmbH. She supports companies in the field of corporate strategy, strategic and financial planning as well as strategic positioning and communication, especially on the Internet. In addition, she has been creating websites for her own projects and on behalf of customers since 2001. Dagmar Recklies works with companies in the manufacturing industry as well as in the financial and service sectors.