View of Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland - they sure know how to build a customer profile!

3 Myths about an Ideal Customer Profile

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Strong and trusting relationships with your target audience is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle for the success of your business strategy. This piece is like the face of a character – without it you won’t finish the whole picture.

To begin with, start searching for useful information about marketing strategy. There are lots of guides and articles, but the world is changing every minute, and so do marketing trends. One of the most important questions to ask yourself is, “Do I really know my customers as well as I think?”.  A huge part of the information that we take for granted might be outdated, causing some myths that may become a huge obstacle on your way to success. Read on and let’s go mythbusting together.

Myth #1. A customer profile is the same as target audience

“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.” - Theodore Levitt, Harvard marketing professor Click To Tweet

When you start building your marketing strategy, you have to understand the true difference between your target audience and a customer profile. One of the most popular myths is that there is no distinction between them and these terms are synonyms. But they aren’t.

In a nutshell, target audience is the whole group of people who your company’s strategy is oriented on. A customer profile is a portrait of a specific person (Persona) who is a typical representative of your audience, somebody who personifies it. That’s why the right thing to say about these two terms is that a correct customer profile helps you to reach your target audience, because speaking with a Persona you are talking to everyone.  

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Myth #2. Customers want to buy products

Another common issue is when you don’t understand the needs of clients and just skip this important step. You can’t correctly build an ideal customer profile if you don’t understand which problem your product is solving. According to Theodore Levitt, Harvard marketing professor: “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.” And that’s the key issue of many marketers that make a customer profile of a person who needs a product, not a solution. Figuring out the core features of the solution you offer will help you debunk this myth.

Myth #3. Demographic and social characteristics matter

Okay, so you busted the second myth, what’s next? Perhaps you think you have to know the information about your customers such as age, relationship status, income level, place of residence, occupation, etc. But we recommend you to think again. It is the main myth that can ruin any ideal strategy.  

 Ozzy Osbourne and Prince Charles are completely different target audience with different customer profiles

You have to break your stereotypes and to help you do it, here is the statement of Hannah Bowley-Smith, IAB’s senior research manager, “Think about the vast differences between people who look to be the same on paper based on their demographic profile. One famously cited example of this would be Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne, who were both born in 1948, grew up in England, married twice, have two children, are both wealthy and both like dogs”. What do you think now? Are Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne belong to the same target audience?

The main idea is that it’s the new era in marketing, the so-called Post-Demographic Consumerism, introduced by TrendWatching.Com in 2014. It is said that nowadays people buy products regardless of their demographic characteristics, because it doesn’t matter how old you are, it is only your interests that are significant.

The bulk of video gamers in the UK are women, and there are much more 44 years old gamers than there are 18 years old. The Twitters’ users registration from 2012 till 2013 was mostly carried out not by the young generation, but by people from 55 to 64 (79%).

As you can see, using demographic and social characteristics in customer profile is not that necessary nowadays.  So what can you do instead? Expand your worldview. Facebook was the first social network to add dozens gender options in lots of countries, and Argentina was the first one from Latin America to accept this. If it could be wrong to please everyone, now is the perfect time for that. So don’t be afraid to depart from standards and cross the line.

How to introduce customer’s portrait to marketing strategy?

Girl with personal computer reading a customer profileYou should understand that even an ideal customer portrait will not be able to help you if you don’t have a developed marketing strategy. The reason is that your actions have to be directed at your target audience.  

As we’ve said, the world is changing, that’s why building relationship with your customers is a difficult multi-layered road. Thus, it is better to use top-notch planning utility service like Roadmap Planner. Our productivity app will help you visualize your customer strategy and adapt to Post-Demographic Consumerism. It is a great option for marketers who want to have an easy, convenient, and time-saving solution. Give it a shot!

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