How To Build Your Ideal Customer Profile

How confident are you about your customer profile? Understanding who you’re talking to is vital as marketers need ways to cut through the noise of other messages and strike a chord with consumers.

Unfortunately, speaking to customers seems to be getting harder. The latest online marketing trends show that customer acquisition is becoming more expensive as costs have increased by 60% over the last six years. 

Similarly, targeting customers will soon become more challenging as third-party cookies  are removed. With recession rumours circulating across major economies like the US and UK, marketing budgets may soon be under more scrutiny as senior leaders look to maximise ROI.

CMOs and other marketing professionals must find ways to ensure the success of their campaign efforts. In this article, we explore how to re-focus and re-energise your marketing activity by building an ideal customer profile using internal and third-party data.

Current online marketing trends 


Lacklustre ROI from multi-channel campaigns
While businesses still aim to deliver seamless digital experiences to customers, multi-channel marketing hasn’t lived up to the hype for the most part.

Managing complex marketing campaigns across disparate mediums created a significant amount of work for a limited pay-off. What’s more, rising apps like TikTok have sparked renewed interest in vertical video formats 

As firms look to plan their forthcoming marketing strategies, the stalled growth from multi-channel marketing has provided a strong lesson in using what works.

Changes to third-party cookies
Ironically, as marketers reexamine their advertising options, new barriers have arrived in the form of changes to third-party cookies.

These data sources, once used to measure consumer habits and advert performance, are being scrapped by Google from 2023. Other firms like Apple are also changing their operating systems as part of a wider shift towards consumer privacy.

As a result, recent surveys have shown 41% of marketers believe their biggest challenge will be their inability to track the right data. 

Navigating the uncertainty of what will work
With the landscape of online marketing changing, there’s considerable uncertainty about the future. 

Senior marketing leaders are understandably keen to identify the next growth engine for their organisation to drive both awareness and sales. Yet, budget limitations and tough economic predictions make it feel like marketing professionals are fighting with one hand tied behind their back.

Fortunately, there’s a way to overcome the combination of issues outlined above; that is, stunted growth, growing pains and ambiguity about strategic next steps. By building a more refined customer profile using third-party data, marketing professionals can focus their efforts on a more reliable type of high-intent consumer.

How to build your ideal customer profile 


Your ‘ideal customer profile’ (sometimes referred to as ‘IPC’) defines the traits of your most valuable customers.

While your ‘target customer’ simply defines the generic segment of the total addressable market you wish to serve, your ideal customer profile goes even further. By focussing on purchasing intent and behavioural data, you can paint a more detailed picture using commonalities between your customers. As a result, you can create more reliable, data-driven insights to base your future campaign strategies on.

According to Gartner, the ideal customer profile is becoming a vital element for high-growth businesses that can help unify departments’ strategic decisions. Follow the steps below to build a comprehensive customer profile of your own and enhance your customer data analytics for future marketing campaigns:

1. Look at your current customer base
Your ideal customer profile largely comes from within your existing patrons, so it’s important to expand on your historical customer data analytics.

Some customers are open to taking part in surveys, so if you find that your data is somewhat limited, you can conduct new research to garner more insights.

2. Identify your top-paying tier
Once you have a grasp of your current customer base, begin by segmenting them using key demographic details. Some early categories you can focus on include things like where your customers live or work, their age, how long they’ve been in their current position and their income.

As you create a rough customer profile using these surface-level insights, you should also determine how much each customer spends on your products or services. This additional level of analysis will allow you to separate your customers from your ideal customers.

We’ll touch on additional categories in later steps that will help you build a more in-depth profile.

3. Use qualitative and quantitative data
While you’re segmenting your customers, make sure to use both qualitative and quantitative data.

The former should accurately describe your customer and their habits. However, the latter will allow you to make predictive analyses and take advantage of today’s online marketing trends more effectively.

4. Understand their goals and pain points 
Once you’ve established a surface-level picture of who you’re looking to market to, it’s time to go deeper and understand what they want. Obviously, your product or service should feature as a part of the solution. However, try to understand the motivations of why they need it in the first place.

In particular, focus on what’s holding them back from making purchasing decisions in the form of paint points. Marrying these two facets can help build a more effective sales funnel, as you’ll be able to tackle key concerns along the sales process and guide customers into consideration more easily.

5. Identify their habits and preferences
Another way to build out your ideal customer profile is to account for behavioural and environmental habits. For example, consumers have set preferences on how they like to spend their time online and where they find information from.

Accounting for these habits can allow you to refine the types of resources you offer to your customers. For example, the majority of podcast listeners are aged between 26-38, while Facebook is the most popular social media platform for those aged 56+.

6. Utilise other third-party data sources
Unfortunately, your existing data can only go so far. By combining high-quality third-party data with your own internal records, you can identify a larger segment of high-intent customers. 

External analytics solutions like Outra360 help you build an ideal customer profile easily and achieve an ultra-personalised marketing strategy equipped for today’s online marketing trends and beyond. 

By applying data science to public UK household data, you can understand your audience’s attitudes, aspirations, and motivations. What’s more, you can identify high-intent customers and carbon copy lookalikes, and expand your ideal customer pool for maximal revenue. Altogether, our platform provides never-seen-before insights into your target audience.

Crucially, our data isn’t affected by the removal of online cookies, so it’s a reliable and future-proof source of customer insights. 

Let third-party data provide new customer insights for your marketing

Third-party data is the solution to build your ideal customer profile and enhance your future marketing strategy.

By enhancing the insights into your current customers and expanding your view of potential prospects, third-party data can paint a more thorough picture of your highest-value customers.

As a result, you can establish a detailed and precise ideal customer profile and focus your marketing efforts on your highest value and more reliable customer prospects.