The Power of Profiling: Defining Your Target Customers

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2020 is around the corner: Do you know your target audiences?

If you are run a subscription-based, product-based or service based business the marketing vehicles that you embrace require an understanding of “WHO” is your target customer.

The people most likely to buy your products/services will share common characteristics like behaviors, location, demographics, interest, and stage of life. The better you understand your varied audiences the better prepared you will be to excel in your marketing efforts. The easiest way to explain targeting is the concept of a dartboard. In every marketing campaign we should seek to reach as many qualified prospects as possible. That would be the same love as hitting the bullseye.

Understanding The Benefit Of Profiling

One of the greatest retail giants and a fan favorite here at  Marketing 4 Real Results is Amazon, who has devised an excellent example of customer profiling. Amazon’s initial goal in profiling was to first build an incredibly rich and detailed view of every customer based solely on data. The next step after having a complete picture of every customer is to use that profile information to engage each and everyone customer on a personalized level.  While most SMB’s do not have a portion of the resources that Amazon has we can still adopt a strategic approach to marketing. In the age of be everywhere all the time, we are charged with the task to integrate many different marketing mediums like social media, email marketing video marketing, and content for blogs to engage end users. To get it right, we must use targeted focused marketing messages to a segment targeted prospects.  In this blog we will outline an easy to use step by step profiling method that works best for your brands of all sizes.

If you have been in business for several years but have never segmented your audience, get started with the process of audience research through quantitative measures.  This performance-based evaluation method will guide you to the “WHO” and “WHAT” through standardized survey questions, focus groups, or user panels. Below is a sample list of questions used for profiling “Buyers” of  Residential Real Estate.


Sample Focus Group Questions For First Time Home Buyers
  1. Are you married or single?
  2. What is your annual household income?
  3. Do you have children?
  4. When you are looking to purchase a home?
  5. What are some concerns you have about purchasing a home (list top concerns for first time home buyers: (i.e.: credit, down payment, cost)?
  6. What is the single most important feature that you would like to have in your new home?
  7. What is your maximum price that you would be willing to pay for a home?


One you have compiled the above 7 responses, combine the existing internal buyer data you have like number of homes sold in your territory, size of home, cost of home and age of buyers, need of buyers etc to get to what is commonly know as the customer personas. By practicing this exercise to understand your buyers better, you will be prepared to start building your marketing funnel of prospective new buyers. The process of compiling detailed information from various sources, will give you the ability to track all activity and data in your CRM to identify trends, produce reports and better plan your sales forecast.

Common demographic characteristics to get you started: age – gender – family life cycle – education – income and ethnicity.


2018 United States Demographics Profile – Note: this example can be compiled for any Country.

Total Population By Age and Generation

Total: 326,625,791 – This number of the total population allows us to keep the full scope of the potential in the US market.


Age structure:

0-14 years:                18.73% (Male: 31,255,995 Female:29,919,938)

15-24 years:              13.27% (Male: 22,213, 952 Female:21,127,826)

25-54 years:              39.45% (Male: 64,528,673 Female:64,334,499)

55-64 years:              12.91% (Male: 20,357,880 Female:21,821,976)

65 years and over     15.63 % (Male: 22,678,235 Female:28,376,817)

Demographics are said to be the most commonly used date for building customer profiles/customer personas. When you think about your ideal client, what are their core demographic characteristics?

  • Age: Consider the age range of your customers. Since the population is always changing with respect to age, the total targeted customer opportunity will change often. See the US Census Bureau Info here. Don’t be too specific on the number; a range will work best in addition to knowing the generation.
    • Gen Z: Born 2000-2016
    • Millennials: Born 1982-1999
    • Gen X: Born 1966-1981
    • Baby Boomers: Born 1947-1965
  • Gender: Male/Masculinity and Female/Femininity is another important factor to keep in mind since gender changes the purchase decision-making process significantly. What percentages of your customers are male or female? Who are you targeting 60% male and 40% female? The domination of either male or female matters throughout customer journey as well as the level of loyalty, lifestyles and buying behaviors.
  • Location/Time Zone: Where does your existing customers or prospects live? In addition to the geographic areas to target, this helps you determine the best hours to call them, send emails and post on your social media channels to get maximum visibility, open/click through rates.
  • Interests: What do your customers like to do in their spare time? Horseback riding? Outdoor sports? Which TV shows do they watch? What other products/services do they purchase?
  • Stage of life: Are your customers retired? College students? New parents? Parents of teenagers?  Single-no children?
The above characteristics are important in determining customer profiles. The more you know the better you target. The more successful your marketing campaigns will be.

When it comes to long term strategic marketing and planning to supports business goals, having customer profiles in place will make a huge difference between success and failure in marketing campaigns.  Preparing a situation analysis that supports your company’s marketing campaigns and are critical. By better understanding customers, campaigns performance will include valuable insights that can be used across your company. The information found would prepare teams to successfully evaluate what needs to be done. In addition to that you are able to create future plans for branding, competitive analysis, customer service strategies and any long-term go-to-market strategies from the same data.


Effective Targeting: Knowing Your Market Niche

Targeting a defined niche market will further build your marketing campaign more effectively by showing your PPC or retarding ads to a specific audience. The key to improving the returns on marketing ad spend is truly successful targeting. By understanding the impact of lifestyles, income and life stages the process of building your marketing funnel will become seamless.

Marketing Funnel Stages: Awareness |Interest | Consumption | Evaluation | Purchase


Niche Market Example

Photographer | Single Mom | Single Dad | Pharmacist | Millennial | Baby Boomer | Teacher.


Profiling Your Target Customers:  Questions That Matter



The key to your business survival is to know the needs, wants and desires of your target customers.

  • WHO are your target customers?
  • WHO are you competing with for their attention?
  • WHY will they buy?
  • WHY are you targeting them?
  • WHAT marketing message/content should you target with?
  • WHAT do they think of your brand?
  • WHERE should you target them?
  • WHERE do they live?
  • HOW often will they buy?
  • HOW often should you contact them?


Three Types of Target Customers

Primary Target Customers

Have the resources to purchase your product or service and also have a “need”,  “desire” & “authority” to make the purchase.

Secondary Target Customers

May slip away before you can focus on them. By keeping good records about who is engaging with your brand on social media is important to identify a second target audience.

Invisible Target Customers

Appears after you open the door with a special offer that attracted them to you.

Once your target audiences have been identified, it is time to allocate marketing   resources to get their attention. Keep in mind that you will likely have different target markets, which is good news. Ideally it is possible that you can adequately satisfy multiple audiences as long as their needs are the same or very closely aligned.

After this careful evaluation has been completed, the level of opportunities can be evaluated to determine the projected business growth. The part of the process is important to note since profiling target customers is a direct line to sales potential and sales forecasting.

For example:

How many will target Y purchase?

How often will they purchase?

We have now determined the first P of the marketing mix, People (Target/Customer Profile) and are ready to devote time to the tactical details necessary in the planning process. By including the additional 4P’s: Product – Price – Place – Promotion will give us a full understanding of the full opportunity with this customer segment.  This will lead us to better forecasting data to help us determine the position for said target and the value of moving forward.

All businesses should use adopt customer profiles as a way to bolster marketing efforts, and best determine the right content/messaging, promotions, offers and product strategy to deliver. Businesses looking for new ways to grow can benefit huge from having centralized and detailed customer insights.

Elevate your business to the next level with smarter marketing campaigns.To build meaningful connections with your customers, contact Marketing 4 Real Results.

T: 818.824.4479



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