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What profiling has to do with marketing

businessmeeting33030005.jpgWhen it comes to marketing, experts and business professionals use many different means to gather information about their customers and potential customers. This act of gathering research is known as market research and helps analysts and business owners and professionals to know how to better reach their target market.

One way they gather information is through profiling.

What is profiling?
In marketing, you can either profile customers who are people, or customers who are businesses.

Customer profiling breaks your customers down into specific groups. Each of these groups has defining characteristics, and virtually every customer and potential customer can be profiled. Some of the more common profiles you may recognize include:

  • Women

  • Men

  • College students 18-25 years of age

  • Senior citizens

  • Middle class

  • Small businesses

  • Two-parent households

  • Single mothers

  • Grandparents raising children

In addition, these profiles can be broken down even further; for example, "Women aged 25-30." Generally speaking, the more specific the profile, the more successful your marketing efforts will be.

A customer profile will typically include the 5 key demographics used in marketing. There are age, income, gender, education level, and ethnicity. GeoDemographics are profiles that are more specific and include things like hobbies and interests, lifestyles, purchasing habits of specific age groups, and so forth. Profiling can also come through survey data that is gathered, typically from surveys and questionnaires.

If your business caters to other businesses, your profiling will be different. Profiling another business will use information like Standard Industry Classification codes to determine the business type. Other information collected in business profiling includes number of employees, revenue, or even number of computers in the company.

What does profiling have to do with marketing?
Profiling is an important aspect of successful marketing. With profiling, businesses can:

  • Generate new customers. The information gathered from accurate profiles of your customers allows businesses to determine whether or not it would be beneficial to begin marketing to a specific market or segment they have not entered into yet. Accurate profiles allow you to determine where and to whom new marketing opportunities are.

  • Target your efforts. Customer profiling allows you to better target your marketing efforts. It does this by first identifying your customers, then understanding their buying habits, lifestyles, and other information so you know who exactly is the most likely to purchase your products, and when.

  • Save money. Customer profiling allows businesses to save money because they have a better idea of where they can successfully market their products. Instead of wasting money on marketing those customers who are very unlikely to purchase certain goods and services, they can save money by targeting those customers who will give them a return on their investments.

  • Look for new marketing avenues. With profiling, you can decide where the best places to market to your profiled customers are. For example, if your target market is students aged 18-25, and your profiling research shows that this age group spends more time online than any other, you can hone your marketing efforts in on new sites that your potential customers will be visiting.

Profiling is an important tool when it comes to marketing. Profiling can help you save money and bring in more business as you better learn more about your customers, including who they are, where they live, and what their buying habits are.

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