How To Create Your Ideal Customer Profile With Creepy Accuracy

Post by 
Stuart Musgrave
January 10, 2019

ell it should be creepy accurate, you created them - we are going to show you how to do it. 

Before you dive into paid advertising or content marketing without knowing exactly who your buyers are, do your homework to understand your consumers and learn who they are, what their motivations are. Everything stems back to your audience and telling a story that matters to them.

Knowing and understanding who buys, or will buy your products is imperative to help you maximize your advertising return-on-investment and content effectiveness.

One fun and super informative exercise you can do is to define an ideal customer. Ideal Customer personas are fictional, generalized characters that build a picture of your ideal and largest markets. They usually encompass not only demographic information like age, location and income, but also psychographic information like interests, reasons for buying and concerns. 

Once we have built your personas you can laser target your ads and create more compelling content that will engage your ideal customers. 

Why Focus on your Ideal Customer

What was once an exercise generally only practiced by large companies, is becoming increasingly useful for smaller online retailers. With the increase in competition and the refinement of advertising tools it pays to know who exactly you want to target and how best to reach them. 

If you have spent any time on FB Ads you know that the amount of information and therefore targeting that can be done is orders of magnitude greater than anything that has come before. For the first time in history, even with a small budget and as a new online store, you have access to very specific audience targeting.

The days of spray and pray marketing are long gone. 

Ideal Customers Change Over Time As We Do

It's important to remember that your personas will change as you discover more information about your major types of customers and what motivates them. Especially when you're first starting out and creating personas for a brand new business, much of you customer personas will likely be based on personal thoughts, feelings and hunches. However, as your business progresses and you make sales, you will start learning a lot more about your core customers. 

As you learn more, don't forget to go back and continually re-define your ideal customer to ensure you're targeting your potential customers most effectively.

Split Personalities

As your business grows or if you are planning on operating on multiple levels (ie retail and wholesale) you may actually have multiple ideal customers and that is ok. It is important to distinguish them as what is attractive and satisfying to an end consumer may be very different to a wholesaler. 

We would recommend conducting this process for each one of your personalities but for today we are going to focus on the end user. 

Don’t settle for a group of people,(hipsters) focus on one and define them as your ideal customer. Retail Consumer can definitely be broken down into a few buyer personas so we will use that as our example. 

Depending on the type of product you're selling you may dice your personas differently, however, in this particular case, we will divide the end consumer up into two distinct personas: 

  • Men purchasing for themselves.
  • Women purchasing for their boyfriends/husbands as gifts. 

Now that we have all of our initial buyer personas broadly defined, it's time to define some key information about them.

Where to start building your Ideal Customer Persona, Think Global - Act Local 

There’s a lot of possible information you could research, use and define, however, a great place to start is by looking at what information you can practically use. Facebook is one of the fastest growing ad networks and it’s also one of the easiest to use. Most importantly, it also has a lot of targeting options that go hand in hand with your customer persona. This makes Facebook Ad’s a great place to start to look for customer persona demographics and psychographics to define.

We've listed some of the major elements to define below for each of your personas:

  • Location - Where do people from this persona live?
  • Excluding Location - Where do people from this persona not live?
  • Age - What is the age range of this persona?
  • Gender - What is the gender of people in this persona?
  • Interests - What are the interests of people in this persona?
  • Education Level - What is the education level of this persona?
  • Job Title - What field of work do your customer work in and what types of job titles do they carry?
  • Income Level - What is the income range of this buyer persona?
  • Relationship Status - What is the relationship status of this buyer persona?
  • Language - What languages do people in this persona speak?
  • Favorite Websites - What type of websites do people in this persona frequent? 
  • Buying Motivation - What is this personas reasons for buying your product? 
  • What does the persona do for fun? 
  • Who are their friends? What do they value? 
  • What kind of humor does he or she appreciate (if any)? 
  • What words does he use? What words does he hate? 
  • What questions does he ask that you should answer?
  • Buying Concerns - What is this personas concerns when buying your product?

Keep in mind that you don't need to answer all of these questions about each of your personas and you may opt to answer different questions altogether. However, the purpose should always be to understand your customers more and by building a full profile you will have a much easier time building your brand and product pages to communicate more effectively with them, as well as to be able to target your ads more precisely. 

So Many Questions! How to research your ideal customer persona?

To begin gathering information on each of your buyer personas, you'll want to start with some research and fill in the gaps with assumptions and educated guesses. 

If You Have An Established Online Business

There are tools you have likely already set up that can help you better understand who your current customers are. Some of these tools include Facebook Insights, if you have a Facebook Page set up for your business, as well as Google Analytics Audience Reports, which has some robust information on demographics and psychographics of your website visitors.

To understand your personas psychographics in depth, your best bet is to talk to your existing customers. The most effective way to do this research is to pick up the phone and call them or by surveying your customers with a tool like Survey Monkey. Since they have purchased from you, they're the type of customer you want more of, so understanding what motivates them to purchase and their biggest concerns can help you more effectively communicate with people similar to them. 

If You Don't Have An Already Established Business...

If you don't already have an established online business, a great method to help you fill in the blanks is to look at your biggest competitors. One of the best places to start is by using a service like SimilarWeb or Compete to analyze the traffic of your competitors. 

You can also try visiting your competitors’ blogs and social media pages. Dive into the people who are commenting and interacting with their posts. You can click through to their profiles and learn a lot about them.

Time To Make A Person 

Utilizing the tools mentioned in the previous section and some educated guesses and a bit of glue you can now complete your own persona for your Brand. 

The last thing to do is to make the persona come alive and humanize it. This is typically done by giving the persona a name and photo. You can use an online name generator and use images on LinkedIn or Google Images as long as your personas are for internal use only. 

How To Use Customer Personas

With your ideal customer persona defined, you should now have a much better idea of who, how, and where you should be marketing to achieve the greatest level of success. The demographic information of each persona will help you target your ads more effectively, and the psychographic information can help you write more engaging copy for each particular persona. 

Consider how you would speak to your ideal buyer if you were selling your product in store, face-to-face. For example, advertising a sale or discount to a customer that is price sensitive  will likely be more effective than trying to advertise quality since we know the persona is price conscious. 

Know Your Customer To Improve Your Marketing

As mentioned previously, your buyer personas will likely change as you learn new information and you may even discover entirely new customer personas altogether as your business grows. 

With defined customer personas your ad targeting and communication stands a much better chance. From increased engagement on your social media channels to a greater ROI for your online ads, taking the time upfront to define your buyer personas can help your online business succeed by better knowing and understanding your core customers.

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