It’s important to establish who are your customers so you can help them accomplish their goals as they interact with your business. We usually call this process User Profiling, but you may also have heard it called Buyer Profiles, or User Personas or Customer Profiles.
What is a User Profile?
A user profile helps you focus on your specific customers, and what drives them as they interact with your brand. Your brand probably has at least two primary customer targets. For example, if you’re a startup you may have the end user of your product as a user, but also investors. Those two segments have different needs and goals, don’t they? Let’s talk about how to create user profiles for your business.
User Profiles: Demographics
The first step is to give your imaginary user a name. A real name. If your primary customer happens to be a women, give her a woman’s name. After you’ve given her a name, give her an actual age, marital status, and income.
Why? Because REAL people purchase your products or services, not imaginary ones. Our social and economic status is a huge driver of the purchases we make, so you can’t skimp on this.
User Profiles: Story
After you’ve defined some general demographics, start creating a life for your user. Is she busy? Does she work? Is she a member of any clubs? Does she live close to your store? Who is she professionally?
Tell us about her life – after all, she interacts with your brand in the context of her real life, so you need to know about her REAL life.
User Profiles: Goals
As your customer moves through life, she tries to accomplish certain goals in her life. Is she trying to maintain a social life after having a kid? Does she want a promotion in order to move out of her current neighborhood? Is she trying to save money? Is she looking for a way to connect with new friends?
You HAVE to get clear on your user’s goals because they directly relate to the needs they have when they interact with your brand.
User Profiles: Needs
When your customer meets your brand, whether it’s at your website, on your social networks or offline, they have things they need to get from you in order to meet those goals in the last step.
For example, if you happen to sell shoes and your customer has a goal of getting a promotion in order to move our of her neighborhood, then you better be sure she can 1) access the value in the cost of your shoes because that’s important to her and 2) that your marketing materials show women in professional settings, and that those images are aspirational, not just functional. Your marketing materials might include lists of the best looking shoes for the board meeting or something like that.
Your user profiles should act as a true north for your marketing strategy.
Your website has to help your users accomplish their goals as quickly as possible. You might have to nurture those leads through email marketing drip campaigns or social media to help them understand how your business will help them accomplish those goals. You may need a website redesign to better position your specific calls to action which help them. You may need to change the voice with which you write your content marketing materials in order to “speak their language.”
Do you have a user profiles for your business? How have you connected your marketing with those profiles? Need a real life example of how user profiling can help your business? Read this marketing case-study of how we helped a local law-firm solidify their marketing with accurate user profiles.