How To Create Target Customer Profiles

At the beginning of my digital marketing journey, I thought that exposing my social media pages to as many people as possible will bring more followers to my brand. So, I was investing my money in placing paid ads in front of a general audience.

I was targeting people of all ages, genders, and some quite general interests. Going by the idea that if more people that see the post, the more engagement I will get in return.

This strategy turned out to be completely wrong. I mean sure, there was some engagement, but I was definitely not spending my ad budget wisely.

When it comes to increasing your audience, it’s not always about the number of people that see your ad, or even the amount of people that follow you. Instead, the focus should be on getting your brand/message/product/service in front of the right people for your brand.

A photo with target customer properties displayed on a phone.

There is a simple way to get inside the mind of a potential customer. We do that by creating target customer profiles to describe our potential consumers, and we try to design them as close as possible to a perfect match.

The Benefits of Target Customer Profiles

  • It helps the paid campaigns reach the right people, but it boosts organic engagement, as well.
  • It makes it easier to get into the mindset of your customers and how to speak to them.
  • It helps you optimize content and product value for the right people.

Having hundreds of devoted followers that will engage with your content or customers that love your brand is much better than having thousands of people that don’t contribute much. 

How To Crate Consumer Profiles Banner

There is usually more than one type of customer you’re targeting so your brand might need a few audience profiles. How do you start making them?

1. Outline basic demographics

The first step in creating a profile of a target customer is to outline all the characteristics that are relevant to the target audience. For the scope of this step, I created Steve.

Let’s say that you run a web development agency in Boston, and your main goal is to help individuals and small new businesses build their first website.

Your target customer Steve is a 29-year-old freelance writer from Boston. He has already graduated from university and lives in Boston. He finds his freelance jobs online, using third-party websites. His income is around $1800/month.

A photo displaying basic demographics and properties of potential consumers.

Steve would benefit from a website where he can market his personal brand and offer his freelance services independently, and this is where your agency comes in.

Action: Create a profile with demographics that fit a large portion of your target audience. Narrow down their age, location, income, education, job title, gender, or anything else that is useful for your brand to know.

Depending on the type of market that you’re going to serve, you most likely need more than one customer persona for your brand.

2. Describe personality characteristics

In this next step, we will go beyond the typical demographic characteristics of a target customer and think about their lifestyle and personality. Why?

When you have a clear picture of how they spend their time and attention during the day, it will become easier to find a place for your brand in their lives. You need to fit into their routine and help them by making the problems that they face daily easier to solve.

How does the lifestyle of a target customers look?

Walk a mile in their shoes. Do they work from home, an office, another type of building? Do they have kids, a partner, are they single? Go into as much detail as you can think of here.

All of that is important because when you know the regular things that the target does, it is easier to see the problems that they might face.

What problems does a target customer face?

We use products, services, and social interaction to somehow improve our standing in the world. Therefore, we consume the things that we believe will do the best job in doing so.

Steve is probably not very happy with the commission cut from the third-party website, and having a personal website that you offer to build will help that.

Find problems, big and small, that your target audience is facing, and you can help solve for them.

A photo with personality characteristics of target customer.

What are their goals?

Your brand is here to help customers improve and reach their lifestyle goals. Think about the things that they’re trying to achieve and how your product or content fits into that.

In this example, their goals might include improving their freelance income, organizing their time in a smarter way, learning more about marketing, and improving social media presence.

Having an insight into their goals will help you speak to them when you’re promoting your services or creating content for them.

Write better content with the help of Grammarly.

This article was created with the help of our affiliate partner Grammarly. Get the browser extension for free and never make typing mistakes.

3. Determine customer value level

All consumers were not made equal. There are people who will instantly become a devoted fan, and there are some people who will not interact with your brand at all after just one purchase.

All of this is completely OK. No matter what you do, there is no way that every single customer will bring the same value to your business. Therefore, you need to expect and align with different consumers in different ways.

How do your brand goals align with the target customer goals?

Think about the solution to a problem or the result that you’re trying to give to your customer. That does not mean the sale that you’re trying to reach or the action that you’re trying to get from people.

If you’re offering web design services, the goal of your brand should be to help people build amazing websites that align with the customer goal of getting a high-quality personal website. Those are your ideal customers.

However, not every single person, will decide to purchase the web design service, some may be in it just for your social media tips, others may want to purchase a video course from you and so on.

A photo about value level with plants representing scaling level growth.

The Customer Value Level

You can provide solutions to your target consumers on multiple value levels. For example, a web agency can offer at least three levels:

Level 1: This is usually the free value level. In the digital world that can be something along the lines of blog posts, tutorials, videos, or any other content. In the physical world, it would be a sample, first session free, a consultation, and so on.

Level 2:  The next step on the value scale is something that the customer can use by themselves, like a course on building a website, a book about marketing, or a workshop.

Level 3: This is the highest level of the value scale, and for the agency, it would include website design with collaboration, marketing consulting, or any other large problem-solving service that they offer.

A photo with different value level descriptions and examples.

4. Map the consumer engagement moments

Think about the various moments that people go through when they choose the products they use, who they follow, or where they get their haircut.

Let’s say that Steve wants to get his freelance business online. He has experience with using technology and believes that he can create a website by himself.

Day 1: He goes on a search engine deep dive, to find the need for products and skills he needs for building a website.

Day 2: He explores all the solutions and products that he discovered. He narrows it down to three choices.

Day 3: He moves toward a final choice even more by comparing features, prices, and by analyzing the overall benefits of each solution.

Depending on the importance of the purchase, people can spend multiple days going back and doing research on their initial problem, need, or desire.

After the purchase, he will interact with the product, receive its value, and form perception for the brand. Ultimately forming a relationship with the brand as time goes by.

Anticipating customer intent

Google’s President of the Americas Allan Thygesen explained how intent-rich moments are altering the shape of the marketing funnel. “How do you create a brand people can count on? It starts with predicting intent and anticipating needs — throughout the customer journey”.

He says that machine learning is key in collecting more of this type of data about the people that interact with your brand.

That means that you should consider the moments of engagement that target customers reach.

Action: Note the different moments where your brand can step in and help the target audience.

The best free website editing software.

5. Solve their problems

All these moments are opportunities for your brand to fill in the blank by making sure that you provide the right content, product or solution across the stages of their journey. Now it’s time to get to work.

Be there when your target customers are looking to identify their need, when they’re looking for a solution to that need, when they need to know what really works and so on. If you’re providing all the necessary information that the person needs to have through their process, you’re guiding them forwards step by step.

Even after the purchase, there are touch points with using the product, making decisions about its value, looking for additional information about the use and so on.

As we’ve seen, while searching for solutions there are multiple opportunities for your brand to speak to Steve’s needs and offer a solution.

The way that people look for solutions is more complex than ever, so make sure you create an approach strategy about:

  • How to reach them at different moments
  • How to present your brand to them
  • How to market to them
  • How to keep their attention
  • How to reach a high conversion rate

Example:

A photo of consumer journey map with touch points.

Your job is to be there for people when they reach different points in the process, help them solve their problems and make them a loyal fan. That means mapping all possible interactions that your audience will experience with your brand, and how to serve them at those points, and ultimately make them a customer.

Action: Create a strategy on how you will solve problems for your target audience on different levels through their consumer journey.

How to create consumer profiles (Checklist)

  1. Determine demographics that fit a large portion of your target audience.

  2. Make a list of their potential goals, problems, and characteristics.

  3. Think of possible solutions that your brand can offer them.

  4. Map out moments on their consumer purchase journey.

  5. Create a strategy on how you’re going market to them.

You can download the printable audience or customer profile template used in this article and create your own.

Write better content with the help of Grammarly.