I’m a huge fan of having a series of customer success stories in your marketing plan. It is one of the first things I build for new clients because they are so flexible.
They can easily show the benefits that your company or product has to offer and how you were able to meet or exceed the expectations of your customers. They can also help illustrate real-life problems that you’re solving, which, let’s face it, is the crux of good marketing.
Here are the 3 basic elements I incorporate when putting together a customer profile
1. The Customer’s Story The customer you select should be like customers you hope to reach. Generally, I use at least 3 different profiles. You could have more, but be careful not to get carried away with overly segmenting your audiences. With a recent client who specialized in home improvements, we opted for 3: single female, family, and a senior couple. These groups have very distinct needs and visions when it comes to how they use their homes. Picking, and limiting, to three, allowed us to cover the topics that resonate with key decision-makers within their segmentation.
A meaningful customer profile can help potential customers understand how your product or service solves a problem for them.
2. Make the Story Interesting As a general rule, a better story comes from overcoming some sort of a challenge or obstacle. It’s what hooks us and makes us want to learn and hear more (and maybe even helps us cheer for the underdog). Don’t neglect a good hook — whether it’s a personal challenge for your customer or a challenge you had in meeting their expectation your reader will be more interested because of it.
3. Don’t Toot Your Own Horn This sounds counter intuitive, but you don’t want this to come off too “salesy” or you’ll lose your reader. Think of this as raising awareness for the entire industry — yes, that means your competitors. Profiles need to mostly be focused on education. Your story may have opportunity to include how you are different from your competitors, but it should be subtle. Feel free to conclude with an “About Us” paragraph or statement, maybe a call out box if you’re using some sort of a infographic.
A collection of customer profiles can be great tools to have in your marketing collateral library. Making them meaningful and engaging will help them go even further.
PS: Here’s a tip leverage your customer profile content to power up your social media. Taking quotes and snippets from your profile can be a great way to pull people into your web site or blog.