A customer profile is a description of a customer based on their demographics, backgrounds, hobbies, and interests. Businesses that offer ongoing services, as well as subscription-based and product-based businesses, should use customer profiles. They help bolster your marketing efforts by determining the best messaging, offers, products, and services to deliver to attract your ideal client.
A customer relationship management tool (CRM) can help you utilize your customer profiles, streamline communications, and track results. Pipedrive is a CRM that allows you to tailor your messaging and marketing to your specific customer profiles so you’re as effective as possible in closing deals. Visit their website to sign up for a 14-day free trial of Pipedrive today.
Customer Profile Template
We’ve created a customer profile template with a list of questions that will help you craft your customer profile(s). You can print it as a PDF and fill out your answers, or download it as a Word document to fill it out digitally.
What Is a Customer Profile?
A customer profile is a generalized description of your ideal customer and a tool to help you make your account management more personal. It includes their demographics, likes, dislikes, preferred media channels (e.g., Facebook, email, TV), and more. Writing profiles of your ideal customer allows you to find products and services that are best suited for them and market to them more effectively.
A complete customer profile is sometimes called an avatar, since it’s essentially a full-blown character with a name, age, and physical features. You can see an example of this in the graphic below. When you’re thinking about a new product, lead generation strategy, or marketing campaign, you can ask yourself, “What would Becky (in the example below) think of this?”
Creating a Customer Avatar: Urban Cake Shop
Creating a customer avatar includes researching your ideal customer’s age range, what is most important to them, and how to market to them. Below is an example of what a completed set of customer profiles look like, using the example of Urban Cake Shop. This is a bakery that serves three major kinds of customers. Below you can read a version of each profile:
Come often, spend little. Our most common customer stops in for a quick coffee and pastry in the morning.
Middle-aged matriarchs catering their celebrations. A smaller segment, but our biggest source of revenue.
Though only a tiny portion of our customers, newlyweds-to-be make up 15% of our revenue.
25 - 45
35 - 55
26 - 38
What’s Most Important to Them?
Fast service and fresh food/coffee
Unique seasonal treats that make celebrations special
Unique flavors, attentive service, delivery option
How to Market to Them?
Use sidewalk promotions to draw them in. Loyalty rewards and email coupons will bring them back.
Email marketing with seasonal/holiday promotions. Also, show off latest creations on Instagram.
Use targeted Facebook ads to draw them in. Continue promoting with wedding, newsletter & Instagram/Pinterest posts.
Email, Loyalty App
Email, Instagram, Facebook, Direct Mail
Email, Facebook, Pinterest
Each customer segment is unique, not only in their physical description and the types of products they buy, but in the values and beliefs that keep them coming back to the business. This is an important factor as you create customer profiles, since it allows you to identify the unique needs of each type and tailor your marketing efforts to those needs.
Here is how you could summarize the groups above for a customer profile:
The Morning Commuters described above are most concerned about getting to work on time with a fresh cup of coffee. They’ll keep coming back to the business as long as Urban Cake Shop is well-staffed during the morning rush and provides high-quality coffee and fresh pastries. Coupons also work great to encourage frequent visits.
The Seasonal Celebrators have a stronger connection to this business; custom orders for their family celebrations can be a major talking point. As such, Seasonal Celebrators rely on Urban Cake Shop to keep their families in good spirits. Price and coupons are less effective since these customers are willing to pay a premium. Instead, they’re motivated by unique seasonal creations, which you can share on Instagram and Facebook.
This segment of customers comes to us with huge catering orders for weddings. It’s a unique segment in that they rarely order more than once, yet still make up a huge portion of Urban Cake Shop’s revenue. Wedding customers prioritize taste and ease of service above all else. The last thing they want is an extra hassle on their wedding day, so the business strives to do their best to alleviate their anxieties with bonuses like free deliveries and in-store tastings.
Elements of a Customer Profile
Before you assemble your customer types and avatar, determine what information should be included in your customer profile. These elements include demographic information (age, gender, and race); socioeconomic information (such as income and occupation), and psychographics (customer interests and behavior).
Here are the elements that should be included in a customer profile:
Demographics are defined as the age, gender, race, and education of your ideal customers. When you think about your ideal client, what are their core demographic characteristics? If you’re already in business, this should be fairly easy since all you need to do is visualize your customer.
Start describing your customers in these areas:
- Age: Consider the age range of your customers, typically about 10 years but not more than 20 years. For example, Urban Cake Shop used an age range of 25 to 45 for their Morning Commuter customer type.
- Gender: Think about whether your customers are more likely to be one gender or the other. Who are you primarily targeting? Try to come up with a percentage balance, such as 50% male and 50% female.
- Race and ethnicity: Consider which ethnic groups your customers identify with. Is there one that appears more frequently than others?
Sometimes it can be helpful to spend time talking to customers who purchase your products or services to determine this information. While it might seem awkward to ask your customers their age, you don’t always have to ask direct questions, but rather can make observations about things like gender. If possible, send them a survey to learn about their demographics.
Socioeconomics are the attributes related to your customers’ household income, occupation, neighborhood, and association memberships. This provides you with valuable information about the types of purchases they are likely to make, and about how to position your product or service accordingly.
Consider these elements while creating your customer’s socioeconomic profile:
- Average household income: Consider the average income range of your customer, such as if they need expendable income to be your customer. Determine if your service fits into the “needs” category of most households.
- Education level: Think about what level of education, on average, your target customer has.
- Occupation: Focus on type of occupation here. Consider where they work, their level of seniority, and industry.
- Hometown and neighborhood: Where does your primary customer come from? Consider what characterizes their neighborhood, town, or area.
- Household description: Look at the family makeup of your average customer’s household. Are they single, single with kids, married, or living with a partner?
Psychographics are your customers’ behaviors and beliefs, including personality, hobbies, style, and sense of humor. Understanding this will help you in knowing how to communicate your message to them in a way that builds rapport. To collect this information, you need to strike up conversations with customers and gather nuanced information. Customer surveys can also be an effective way to gather this information.
Consider addressing these psychographic topics when engaging with your customers:
- Hobbies and interests: Research what your customers do for fun and the interests they have. What gets them excited?
- Favorite entertainment choices: Find out where they go to get their news, like what radio stations, music, and TV shows they prefer.
- Anxieties: Identify what their biggest fears and anxieties are and how your business can help alleviate their concerns.
Once you have gathered all this information, make sure the elements above match with customer types, as showcased in the Urban Cake Shop example above. Then you can build out an ideal customer avatar for each. As a best practice, be sure to give each a real name so that these target customers become real to you.
“To determine your customer’s psychographics, seek to understand existing clients to help find more of the same. Ask your customers why they chose you, what media or websites they used to find you, why they chose what they do for a living, where they volunteer, and so on. Keep digging and be creative to get at the information that reveals their thinking.”
– Robbin Block, Creative Marketing Strategist, Blockbeta Marketing
How to Implement Customer Profiles With a Digital CRM in 6 Steps
Once you have a customer profile ready, you will want to implement a customer relationship management (CRM) process to make the most use out of it. Tools like CRM software allow you to track your customer’s sales journey and communicate with them effectively, and also allows you to pair ideal customer profiles with individual leads and prospects. Some tools will even automatically generate a customer profile score based on how the leads were sourced.
Pro tip: The CRM that we recommend for setting up, using, and tracking your customer profiles is Pipedrive. By implementing it, you will be able to customize your messaging and marketing to your specific customer profiles so that you are more likely to convert leads into sales. You can sign up for a free 14-day trial today.
Here are the six steps to creating a customer profile in a CRM:
1. Sign Up for Customer Relationship Management Software
First, sign up for a CRM, such as Pipedrive. No matter what you use, take a minute to sign up for a free trial and create custom fields. We’ll use Pipedrive as an example, but the process is similar with most CRMs.
2. Add a New Contact
To get started, add your first contact. For example, in Pipedrive, you do this by going to the contacts section and clicking the green “Add person” button. This will pull up a form for you to fill in with all your customer’s contact information, which will include first and last name, title, company name, website, email address, phone number, and additional fields for notes you may want to include regarding your customer.
3. Create a Custom Field for Customers
To start matching your customers with the profiles you created, create a custom field for your customers, called “tags.” Tags are labels that you can use to define the different groups of contacts that are in your CRM, so you can group them together. In this case, we are going to create labels that correspond with the customer types created in the exercise above.
Doing this allows you to sort leads, customers, and accounts based on their customer types and be more effective in your lead generation. Once the right tags are created, you will be able to select them when adding a new contact.
To create a tag, you will need to create a custom field first. To do this, click on the widget icon next to your customer details and then click on “Customize fields.” Then click on “+ Add new field,” and assign a name that you chose for the different customer types. Select “Multiple options” for the field type. This will let you create a standard list of tags to use when you add new customers in your CRM.
Let’s enter the three customer profiles from the bakery example above—Morning Commuter, Seasonal Celebrator, and One-time Wedding. Type each profile name into the values field by clicking on the “+” to add a new value. Check the box beside “Always visible on sidebar” and then check the box beside “Appears in ‘Add new person’ dialogue.” When you are finished, your completed custom fields should look like this:
Once you’re done, click “Save” and then “Done.” Now you’ll see Customer Tag listed below the contact information in the Details section when you add new customers.
4. Assign Tags to Customers
When you are on a customer’s contact page, click “Customer Tag” and then “+ Add value.” You’ll see a drop-down menu to select which customer type to assign to that customer profile. Pick the one that fits the best and click “Save.”
5. Create Customer Filters for Segmentation
Now that you have your customers tagged according to the customer types, you can easily filter your main contact list to only display the customer type(s) you want to target. In Pipedrive, click on “Contacts” in the primary navigation bar at the top and then “People” in the sub-navigation drop-down menu. This will display your full contact list.
To filter your contact list by customer profile type, click on the “Filter” button to display the menu, then click on “+ Add new filter.” Now you will see a new menu. Under “Show people that match ALL of these conditions,” click on “+ Add condition.”
Leave “Person” selected in the first field and select “Customer Tag” in the second. In the new fields that appear, leave “Is” selected in the first field and select your tag for the second field—a drop-down menu will appear when you click on the field. Once you have selected all of your desired tags, click “Save.”
Now when you click on the “Filter” button, your customer type filter will appear in the list of available filters. Selecting this new filter will limit your contact list to only those customers that you’ve tagged with your chosen customer type. You can now view the list, export it to a file, or export it to a third-party application, such as Mailchimp, that you’ve integrated with Pipedrive.
6. Start Using Your Customer Profile
After you have finished creating your customer profile and adding customer types in your CRM, you will want to start referring to it when you are creating advertising campaigns, messaging, and other marketing efforts. If we consider the Urban Cake Shop example above, we can use our CRM to push out very targeted advertising efforts that will help increase our return on investment (ROI).
Here are some ways Urban Cake Shop might make use of their customer types:
- Morning Commuter: Sending out early morning emails to the commuters with their breakfast or coffee specials for that day. You could also use Instagram and Facebook to post images of people enjoying these treats.
- Seasonal Celebrators: Timing holiday offers in ads and emails around the holidays and featuring the creations or flavors you are creating for the season. You could offer early order discounts and ensure they receive a “thank you” gift for buying from the cake shop every year.
- One-time Wedding: Creating a Facebook targeted audience using exported contacts and sending them ads with pictures of the business’ most recent wedding cake creations.
These are examples, but you can see how customer profiles can help you hone your advertising strategies. As you begin implementing these strategies for your own business, track and measure how each group responds and what your return on investment (ROI) is for each promotion. You can add different tactics as you start to see results from the targeting of your specific customer types, but be sure to use your CRM’s tracking features to make the most of each campaign.
A customer profile is a detailed description of a business’ customers based on their demographics, backgrounds, interests, and values. Businesses that offer ongoing services, as well as subscription-based and product-based businesses, should use customer profiles. This can ensure a much larger ROI because messaging is specifically targeted to customers’ needs and desires.
Once you have created your customer profiles, use them as a reference in all your marketing and communications with customers. One easy way to do that is to utilize a powerful CRM like Pipedrive. This allows you to customize communications and drive the most effective sales campaigns. Visit their website to sign up for a 14-day free trial of Pipedrive today.