Boost your marketing strategy with pitch-perfect customer profiles. 

How to create the perfect customer profile

Why Bother With Customer Profiles?

Creating customer profiles – or personas – of your potential customers can offer invaluable insights into:

… how and who to target your marketing campaigns at.

… what ‘voice’ and design elements you should deploy to engage with each persona.

… what problems your potential customers face on a day-to-day basis that your product/service can help solve, and more.

And the key to unlocking the true identity of these personas? Your existing database.

Go Direct To The Source…

… by analysing your existing database. Create segmented lists featuring existing, lapsed and potential customers.

… from the existing customer list, you can determine what type of customer (their job title, market sector, business size, etc.) will be most attracted to your products/services. Via such research, you can then uncover common themes that can be used to draw up your basic personas list.

… just as importantly, trends revealed in your lapsed customer list could show which customer types are not engaging with you; you can either choose to remove them – or better still, unearth why your messaging isn’t working for them and help you refocus your marketing strategy accordingly.

Focus on your data – and not what you and your team think are the right personas. Your customer profiles must be backed up by real-world data – not just gut instinct.

Hire A Data Provider

Bring in a fresh pair of critical eyes by employing a data provider to analyse your existing database:

… data cleansing companies will strip out bad data.

… update and flesh out existing entries and suggest new leads from their own extensive data lists.

… spot potential customer profiles based on your past performance plus identify emerging persona trends that can be exploited by your campaign.

… take you through the process if you are not fully versed in database management.

Hone down your persona list by fleshing them out with more pertinent information:

Identify three existing recent customers who best reflect a particular persona. Interview them (ideally face-to-face) over 10-15 minutes about their business pains, how your product/service helped them, if anyone else was involved in the purchasing process and more – head here for more examples of suitable questions.

Contact lapsed customers – find out what turned them off about your product/service; was it the product or your marketing campaign? The views of lapsed or disengaged customers could prove to be invaluable.

For a wider sampling, send out surveys to other customers on your database (or post them on your site). Use the feedback to further feed into your persona creation programme.

To increase response rates, offer incentives such as cash rewards to encourage people to take part in surveys.

With all the information accrued, it’s time to pull together the finalised persona. Major elements should include:

Persona picture (an illustration/photo of your imagined persona)
This puts a human face to the persona, not just a name.

Company profile
Made up of market sector, job role and business size.

What matters to them in the workplace; what are they looking for, what do they need, what motivates and challenges them.

And more…
Take a look at this list of 9 things you need to know about your customers.

Some companies go as far as creating actual life-size cutouts of their personas to drive home that their customers are human, not just marketing targets…


  • Creating personas offers invaluable insights into the mindsets of potential customers.
  • They allow you to create targeted campaigns that will appeal to each persona, talking to them in their own language and appealing to their specific needs and wants.
  • A data provider (including data cleansing companies) are a proven ally, able to offer expert advice and a fresh pair of eyes to drill down into your database.

Download this eGuide to get to know your customers even better: Get to know your customers, inside out

This article first appeared on the Marketscan blog