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.
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. Click here to download the template on PDF or Word.
1. Consider Demographics
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. This helps you craft effective advertising to each type of customer.
- Age: Consider the age range of your customers. For example, a coffee shop may use an age range of 25 to 45 for a 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? Aim to come up with a percentage balance, such as 50% male and 50% female.
- Race and ethnicity: Consider what ethnic groups your customers identify with. Is there one that appears more frequently than others?
2. Pay Attention to Socioeconomics
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 how to position your product or service accordingly.
- 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 the type of work your customer does here. Consider where they work, their level of seniority, and industry.
- Hometown and neighborhood: Where does your primary customer reside? 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?
3. Ask for Psychographics
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 and build rapport.
- Hobbies and interests: Research what your customers do for fun and the interests they have. Ask yourself, “What gets them excited?”
- Favorite entertainment choices: Find out where they go to get their news, such as 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.
Sometimes it can be helpful to spend time striking up conversations with customers who purchase your products or services to determine this information. While it might seem awkward to ask your customers their age or income, you don’t always have to ask direct questions—casual conversations and simple observations can tell you a lot about your customers.
Make observations about things such as what kind of work they do if they have a uniform, if they come in with a partner or children, and how much they regularly spend. You can also send surveys to learn about their demographics, socioeconomics, and psychographics.
Once you have gathered all this information, make sure the elements above match with customer types. Then you can build out an ideal customer profile for each. It is also a good practice to give it a name, such “Becky” as in the following example, as this will make thinking about your customer profiles more personal. Then, when you’re thinking about a new product or lead generation strategy, you can ask yourself, “What would Becky think of this product?”
Example Customer Profile
To better understand what a customer profile looks like, we have created an example below that describes one of the typical customers that might visit a high-end urban bakery. In this example, the profile serves as a marketing roadmap for connecting with future customers.
It is also worth pointing out that your business can have more than one customer profile. For example, the bakery, such as the one “Becky” used to produce her wedding cake, may serve three major kinds of customers:
Type of Customer
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
Effective Marketing Strategies
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 your latest creations on Instagram.
Use targeted Facebook ads to draw them in. Continue promoting with wedding, newsletter, and Instagram/Pinterest posts.
Preferred Communication Channels
Email, loyalty app
Email, Instagram, Facebook, direct mail
Email, Facebook, Pinterest
In this example, 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. Taking the time to identify customer profiles can then help you identify the unique needs of each type and then tailor your marketing efforts, which is an important component of effective sales management.
Once you have defined your customer profiles, you can then incorporate them into a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, such as Pipedrive, to streamline communications and track results. You can learn how to do this by visiting our article on sales targeting.
Customer Profile Benefits
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. Having a keen understanding of your customer also helps you build rapport, creates loyal customers, and encourages referrals. Furthermore, building relationships with customers makes them feel comfortable enough to give suggestions of what new products and services they would like to see your business offer.
A customer profile is a detailed description of a business’ target 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 foster higher sales revenue since your messaging is specifically focused on your customers’ needs and desires.