Customer profiling to drive campaign success


Customer profiling to drive campaign success

The beauty of online marketing is that it’s accessible to all brands no matter how big or small, or how long they’ve been around.  It’s the perfect place to launch a new brand or reach new customers for long established brands. The secret is the technology and data. They allows every campaign to be highly targeted and all responses tracked so every brand can see how many sales they’re achieving for every £1 spent.   

What will customer profiling tell you?

Overall campaign success starts with understanding who you need to target, where and when to achieve maximum sales. To do this you can:

Identify your perfect target markets by:

- Segmenting and Profiling existing customers, or

- Identifying your perfect target markets by:

- Create ideal prospective customer segments using market intelligence

Understanding your target audience segments can help drive insight across relevant considerations such as:

- what their interests are

- key age groups

- male female split

- where they are and key times to engage

Understanding their media consumption habits:

- Identifying digital platforms they are likely to use to guide campaign channel use.

It all starts with knowing who will be interested in your product.

Segmenting and Profiling your existing customers: consumer brands  

The best way to identify who will want your product online is to analyse who’s bought from you before. Your existing customer database is a mine of crucial information and you can use several techniques to get at this intelligence.

If you have a decent database of customers and you can identify those people who have bought online from you in the past. They can be an excellent starting point to who might buy from you online in the future. With the correct GDPR compliant permissions in place you can use tools to profile customers to learn more about them. There are several profiling systems on the market such as the Experian Mosaic, CAMEO or ACORN profiling tools. They all do similar jobs, aggregating information by postcode. We regularly use CAMEO to classify audience consumer segments. Using your customer’s postcodes, you can append CAMEO codes to each customer. Analysing the codes for your customers can help identify areas of potential geographical opportunity, insights around  typical income levels, common age groups, and their typical . By overlaying the CAMEO information with your customers male:female split, the typical amount they spend per order and how often they order in a year, you can identify key audience groups and the more detailed audience types for your products online, and build a clear starting picture of who they are and where they are.

We then add insights on their typical media consumption and time spent online or consuming other types of media to build a picture of every ideal customer profile. This tells us when they will be online and using different online platforms so we know when to spend budgets cost efficiently to reach them.   

We’ve worked with a well-known donkey rescue charity for several years and prior to launching campaigns to recruit new donkey adopters, we analysed their current supporter base for targeting guidance. They really wanted to find new supporters willing to adopt a donkey online and set up a direct debit. We found that supporters taking out direct debits had different characteristics to those signing up offline and were most like supporters giving regular donations. The audience analysis helped us target supporter recruitment campaigns at the right people at the right time, in the right geographic areas down to target postcodes, so we used budgets efficiently and delivering increased numbers of direct debit supporters, exceeding the client’s targets.


How do you create customer profiles if you don’t have an existing customer database?

Using intelligence from your existing customer base is an ideal starting point but if you don’t have one it is still possible to create relevant customer profiles to guide your creative process and campaign targeting. Third party researchers such as TGI survey many thousands of British shoppers and compile huge data sets about the UK residents and their shopping habits. It is possible to look at the profile of customers of big brands you think will appeal to similar audiences to your product. This analysis can give you general audience segments detailing age, sex, income, gender and interests including media consumption, of target audiences suitable for your brand. You will also discover relevant CAMEO and Experian audience segment codes that match these audience types. This insight will help you devise test campaigns across relevant online platforms.

As test campaigns roll out and results roll in, it will be possible to populate these skeleton audience segments with more detail about buying habits and learn which are the most important audiences for you as results tracking reveals who is engaging with your brand and buying.   

Segmenting and Profiling existing customers: business to business brands

Techniques used to profile consumer audiences can be useful for brands targeting the thousands of small and medium sized businesses in UK. Commercial Mosaic is available for profiling businesses which will provide information on detailed business types. Overlaying SIC codes can enhance your understanding of your current customers industries and business sectors. This intelligence can be used to target relevant businesses through business network platforms, email, or specialist business titles online or in print.

Comparing your customer base to national ONS UK business count data will give you an index for hotspots where your customers are more likely to be located which can help with geographic targeting of activity such as local door drops of list buying.  

Small businesses are often owner/managed with little distinction between work and personal media habits so it can be useful to profile your small business owners if their work address is the same as their home address. For companies targeting the smallest businesses this information about small business owners can provide another set of targeting options when planning campaigns, using digital platforms such as Sky AdSmart, programmatic display, Facebook, Amazon and eBay. We helped Aldermore Bank grow their customer base with insights like these.  

How do you test your assumptions and refine your target audience groups?

Profiling your customers or building ideal customer profiles will give you practical information you can apply when choosing where to place advertising to reach your potential customers, how to get their attention, and when to advertise to them.

But it’s not the whole solution. What else is important?

  • Tracking engagement and conversions effectively (leads, sales or donations)
  • Improving website performance to maximise conversion and basket value so you get the most out of the people you drive to your site or shopping solution 
  • Learning from the people you reach and how they react to improve all of the above: optimise campaign targeting, when you show ads and when you don’t, the creative message used, and your purchase/sign up funnel adapt to current situations.

As we are seeing currently with the Coronavirus crisis, things happen that completely disrupt our lives and change the way we interact with the outside world. Even without a crisis every hypothesis about who your customers will be, where they are and when to advertise to them needs testing. That’s why analysing campaign results through efficient tracking and post campaign analysis of new customers can tell you what’s working and what’s not. It can pinpoint where the biggest opportunities lie and underline your original thinking or refine it further.

Tracking search trends, looking at engagement stats and changes in buying behaviours using your Google Analytics during changes in our market, or in holiday periods is important so you can anticipate future shifts in behaviours and adapt to maximise your return on marketing investment. Working with the right data driven agency will help you stay on top of the trends and shifts important to your market.

If you’d like to talk to us about how we might help you plan and learn from your campaigns, please get in touch.           

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