You may have some assumptions about your customer base due to the nature of your product or service or your interactions with customers at events over the years. However, the best way to target current and potential customers is through data.
Data provides a concrete way to assess your customers’ needs, interests, and preferences. In turn, you can build comprehensive customer profiles that guide your event marketing efforts.
In this article, we’ll review five strategies for building your customer profiles so you can take a data-driven approach to event marketing. Whether you’re creating customer profiles for the first time or enhancing your existing information, these tips will help you uncover powerful insights about your customers.
1. Assess the current state of your customer data
Take a look at your current customer database. What data do you already have on them? Do you have the same data points for each customer, or are there some that have more or less data?
After taking stock of the data you have, determine what data you still need to learn more about your customers and better market your events to them. For example, B2B organizations may know the industry of the companies they work with but not the size of each company. This information could be useful because it would allow B2B organizations to personalize their event messaging and outreach based on the nature of each company.
This is also a good time to assess how you’re storing data. Is it in a spreadsheet, physical forms, a customer relationship management platform (CRM), or a combination of different methods? For easier analysis, migrate all data to the same place—preferably a customer relationship management (CRM) system or other platform intended for data storage.
When you have a better, more complete understanding of your customer base overall, you’ll be able to identify the major attributes of different types of customers and add those to your customer profiles for more targeted event marketing.
2. Conduct a data append
While auditing your customer database, you may notice you’re missing key data from your customers. To fill in the gaps in your database, conduct a data append. During a data append, data providers solicit information from third-party sources to supplement your customer database.
Considering that businesses that use data-driven marketing have a return on investment (ROI) that’s five to eight times higher than businesses that don’t, appending data should be a top priority to elevate your event marketing strategy.
Depending on the data provider that you work with, you can append the following information:
- Marital status
- Level of education
- Lifestyle attributes, such as hobbies and interests
- Buying behaviors, such as online product purchases
- Phone numbers
- Email addresses
- Mailing addresses
Additionally, B2B organizations may want to append firmographic data, such as industry, company size, and location. With this information, you can put data at the forefront of your customer profiles. For instance, when you know that certain customers like to buy your products online while others like to make in-store purchases, you can tailor your profiles for each group accordingly.
3. Segment your customers
Once you have all the data you need, you can segment customers based on shared characteristics, including demographics, buying preferences, and purchase history.
Segmenting your customer base will help you organize your data and create event marketing campaigns that align with their unique preferences. This approach can also save time and resources by only reaching out to customers likely to be interested in certain events.
For example, if you’re hosting an event that would interest CEOs and other high-level business executives, you can create an appropriate segment and only reach out to that group. As a result, you’ll see a higher ROI than if you were to contact every customer in your database.
After segmenting your customers into different groups, you can create profiles within each segment that further specify your customer base. In the CEO segment, you may have a profile for a younger CEO looking for networking opportunities and one for an older CEO interested in attending events about keeping up with emerging technology.
4. Send a survey
Even though you can source most of the data you need for your profiles from a data append, reaching out to customers for feedback can enhance your profiles even further. With the qualitative information elicited in surveys, you can expand upon the data points you have and focus your event messaging for each segment.
Some of the most useful pieces of information you can obtain from surveys are customer challenges or pain points. When you ask customers what they’re looking to accomplish by using your product or service, you can ensure your solution addresses their needs and tailor your event messaging to touch upon those pain points.
For example, business executives looking for software might indicate that their company is quickly growing, and they need a platform that can keep up. As a result, the software company can note this as a pain point in their customer profiles and emphasize the scalability of their product when hosting events for this segment.
You can also send out surveys after events and campaigns to determine their effectiveness in addressing your customers’ needs. The feedback may help you uncover new pain points or other customer information that you can add to your customer profiles.
5. Create customer personas
If you want to take your customer profiles a step further, create customer personas. Customer personas are similar to customer profiles, except they include a fictional representation of each profile type.
Continuing with the CEO segment example, customer personas may include a young CEO named Lauren Smith who wants to increase brand awareness and an older CEO named Emmett Thompson who wants to expand his company’s product into new markets.
When you attach personal attributes to your customer profiles, it’s easier to picture your customers as real people and market your events to them accordingly. Customer Profile #37 may effectively guide your event marketing efforts, but thinking about Lauren Smith’s pain points and interests is a more tangible way of incorporating customer data into your next event marketing campaign.
To sum up...
When data is at the forefront of your customer profiles, you’ll make better, more informed decisions about your event marketing efforts. As a result, you can reach customers in each of your segments and provide them with an individualized experience that addresses their needs and preferences.