According to the marketing experts at BehaviourExchange, you cannot create an effective and profitable content marketing strategy without the use of profiles.
With profiles, you can get to know your customer base well by developing a certain understanding of your customers’ and prospects’ needs and desires. This whole process allows you to create offerings and content that are really suitable for your target customers. You’ll also be able to segment your databases to effectively personalize your communication or campaigns.
Even if you have already understood the benefits of profiles, the implementation is far from trivial. This process requires you to step back and follow a clear, precise methodology.
Profiles are essential for a personalized approach
As a marketing professional, you may think that you know your target audience pretty well, but where do you store all the information you’ve collected about your customers? In the cloud?
If your marketing team has enough experience, you probably already have a CRM with detailed records of your customers. If not, you probably have a huge pile of paper … on your desk? In a file cabinet? Maybe next to your landline telephone?
A detailed CRM is extremely valuable. However, collecting information about your target audience is not helpful if you can not translate the information into marketing messages. Profiles are a great tool for utilizing data so that decisions are made easier and you can better communicate with your customers and prospects.
How to create a profile
Essentially, a profile is created by sorting your existing customers or prospects into clusters based on any number of criteria. For example, if you find that a particular age group tends to be interested in a specific product or service, you can start categorizing those people. Examine where exactly you recruited these individuals.
Consider all other relevant demographics, such as interests, hobbies, qualities, website behaviors, or trends related to this audience segment that can be added to improve that data. How much information you want to collect in relation to a particular segment is up to you to decide.
Where to get the info needed to create profiles
The quantity of data out there is enormous so one just needs to look. Social media, for example, are a great place to research the behavior of audiences. Write down the features that you find relevant to your business. Create a few lists of people who match these characteristics. Then use so-called social listening tools to search for specific criteria.
Google Analytics is another invaluable source of information. There is probably no better data than what you can get from your website visitors. Most people, in this case, are interested in something you offer. Use demographics and interest reports created by Google Analytics.
Another great source of high-quality data are your Sales and Account Teams. Practice common questions and answers from customers with these two teams. The back office, if you have one, helps you identify customer personalities, key contacts, ideologies, values, challenges, and more.
And last but not least, your customers are a great source of precious information. There is no better place for personal research than to ask the customer directly.