Customer Profiling: How Well Do You Know Your Customer?

August 18th, 2016

The IT sector is quickly becoming more and more customer centric and as such, companies have to adapt their usual tried and trusted methodology in order to remain competitive.

Customer profiling is one way of understanding a customer better and provides a company the basis to develop digital marketing initiatives that match with the demands of their customers. Similar to service/product development it is also essential to understand your customer when attempting to optimize your digital marketing strategy as these are the people who will use social media channels and your website in order to search for a solution for their business. Somewhere within in the organization there will be a suppository of information regarding your current clients. This is the foundation of customer profiling, as your existing customer base can tell your company a great deal. Collecting this raw data from online forms and CRM tools that are already being used within the business will ultimately offer the means to start profiling.

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Create a broad description of your ideal user

Much like creating an ideal customer when constructing a new service, the same rules apply when attempting to improve your online digital presence. Think of your ideal user. First and foremost consider what is important to them and what would make them use social media channels, search engines and any other online means to seek out your IT company. Broadly speaking, no one user is alike and as a business it is important to understand this. Put those corporate feet in the shoes of a user and consider how you would like to acquire information regarding IT solutions. Also stop to contemplate what position this user would have in company. Would they be low-level researchers? Mid-level managers? What kind of information would they be interested in? When and how often would they like to see posts from your company on social media? Once that is done, it is fair to say you would have a description of an ideal user.  

Identify unique user goals and most important features

Meet Donald. He is a low-level project manager in a medium to large sized company. Donald is scouring the Internet for a cloud based IT solution for his employer, which is a large organization that regularly handles large sums of data. As he ploughs through the web, both on search engines and social media, his main aim is to find a provider for cloud based storage and data integration. Here is where your company’s superior digital marketing prowess can come in. At this point the manner in which a business communicates with Donald is essential. The language used on the website and on social media should provide assurances to him that the company is reliable and understandable. A company should also consider what hesitations Donald may have in pursuing a possible purchase, and how those reluctances can be nullified by better online communication. Coinciding with the latter, engaging Donald on an individual basis is an important feature that many users will look for, as uniqueness and personal importance are high on the agenda for interested people like Donald.  

Where can your customers find you?

The final part of profiling is to understand where your customers can find you. Google-ing things has been the norm for quite some time for anyone who is looking for a solution, and as an IT company it is extremely safe to assume that any potential lead would have Googled at least some word associated with your organization. If not on Google then on social media, therefore it is hugely important to recognize where these customers are looking for you and in turn how you as a company are presenting yourself on these platforms and search engines.   Profiling potential sales leads has been a quintessential part to marketing for some time. However, as e-commerce and digital marketing bring forth a new wave of customers, IT companies, who in the past have had little to do this in this sector, now not only have to focus on profiling “traditional” customers but also digital users like Donald. These people are Internet savvy and expect to be wooed by their online experience when perusing through your website or social media for one of your solutions. And that’s just to get their attention, let alone a sale.  


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