Creating an ideal customer persona is the first step in running any kind of successful marketing or sales campaign. If you don't know who you’re trying to reach, then how can you expect to target them effectively?
Beyond simply understanding how old your customers are or where they live, you need to know why they would support your business. What actions do they take to become customers? Why would they choose your business over your competitors?
Sourcing and understanding the answers to these questions is one of the most fundamental steps for reaching new customers and boosting overall customer satisfaction. And most importantly, growing your tour company.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about mapping out your ideal customer profile, how to find these profiles, and why they’re so important.
What Is An Ideal Customer Profile?
An ideal customer profile (ICP) is a detailed description of your target customers. In these profiles, you identify factors like your target customer’s pain points, buying habits, and interests. You also include all the necessary demographic information.
Once you have established who your target audience is, you can refine this by creating an ideal customer profile of a fictional person within this target audience. Doing so gives you a better understanding of the type of person your business is trying to reach.
You can create multiple ideal customer profiles to match the different segments or types of customers pertaining to your market/industry.
Why Is An Ideal Customer Profile Important?
Your business can’t appeal to everyone. By creating a detailed ideal customer profile, you can gain a far better understanding of who your customers are, what they’re interested in, and what motivates them. This is essential for running effective marketing campaigns and sales outreach.
The information from your ideal customer profiles can help you create more personalized, tailored campaigns that speak to your customer's interests and pain points. This is far more effective than trying to target customers with generic marketing messages.
You can apply this personalization to your marketing campaigns, sales outreach efforts, lead nurturing campaigns, and more.
By creating a target customer profile, you can easily access all of the information you need to know about who your customers are. This will help you use the right channels to reach them, use the right messaging that engages them, and tailor your products and services around their desires.
By creating accurate target customer profiles, you can:
Achieve A Better Marketing ROI
You’ll spend less money trying to reach people, and you’ll reach your customers in a more compelling way. This results in less money spent on marketing campaigns and customer acquisition.
Reduce Customer Churn
By targeting the right customers with the right offers that match their needs, you’ll be able to develop stronger customer relationships. You’ll also be able to offer more value to each customer, which will improve retention.
Deliver A Better Customer Experience
Understanding your ideal customer profile will help you provide more personalized customer service. You can use these profiles to refine the customer journey, and you can offer more relevant products, upsells, and experiences to these customers. This will help you create a more positive experience with each customer.
Data To Include In Your Customer Profile
When creating an ideal customer profile for your business, you’ll want to include as many relevant details as possible.
Your goal in creating an ideal customer profile isn't only to find out who your customers are. You need to also know why they are interested in your business and what would result in them making a purchase.
This information should cover four main types of data.
Demographic data refers to factors like:
- Family status
- Job title
These factors may not be very specific, but they give you a broad understanding of the customer’s behavior and possible interests.
Geographical data is focused on where the target customer lives. This is important if you run a local travel business, or if you offer different services based in different areas (which is very pertinent to the travel industry).
Understanding geographic data is essential for accurately targeting your ad campaigns.
Psychographic data gives you a more detailed understanding of how and why a customer would decide to make a purchase decision. This data will help you better understand how your marketing messages can engage and impact your target customers.
Psychographic data includes the following factors:
- Pain points
These are the key elements that could potentially trigger a customer to make a purchase. These factors also determine the buying journey, so it’s essential to deeply understand psychographic data when creating an ideal customer profile.
Behavioral traits in your buyer persona are focused on actions and behaviors instead of psychological factors. This includes the following:
- Readiness to buy
- Engagement with your brand
- Purchasing history
It’s important to segment your ideal customer profile based on behavioral data so that you can more effectively target each segment based on their actions. This will help to make each target customer interaction with your tour company more impactful.
How To Create A Target Customer Profile
Various strategies can be used to identify your travel business’s ideal customer profile. This process entails looking toward multiple sources of data and trying to gather input from an assortment of places. This will help you create a more accurate target customer profile.
Below are the different steps and tactics you can use to achieve this.
Find Your TAM
Before you can establish a refined ideal customer profile, you’ll need to understand your total addressable market (TAM). This is the overall target market that your travel business is trying to reach. Within this market, there can be multiple segments depicting your various ideal customer profiles.
In order to identify your TAM, you’ll first need to gain a high-level overview of your target customer base. One of the best ways to do this is to utilize social media analytics tools. These tools will help you gain insights like where your audience is based, what age groups they fall under, what times they are most active online, and so on.
You can also determine your TAM relatively easily by simply understanding what services your travel business offers and what kinds of people this would appeal to.
For example, if you offer fishing tours, your total addressable market will include fishing enthusiasts within a certain area. However, this can be refined based on various other factors.
Conduct Research To Refine Your Audience
Now that you have established your broad market, you’ll need to refine this into an ideal customer profile. One of the best ways to achieve this is to reach out to your existing customer base to gather in-depth information about them.
You can do this by conducting the following:
Surveys help you better understand your customer’s interests, desires, and behaviors. You can send customer surveys via email or even run them on social media.
Talk to customers directly within your market to understand their interests, pain points, and questions they have about your business, competitors, and the market/industry in general.
You could also gather feedback from a group of consumers within your target market. This takes a bit of effort but can help you gather more information from group perspectives.
Segment Your Target Audience
You can segment your audience based on the different products and services your business offers, the different geographic locations you serve, and so on.
For example, you could create an ideal customer profile for each travel experience your business offers. This will allow you to create more targeted marketing campaigns for each option, instead of just trying to reach a single type of target customer.
Using a CRM is tremendously helpful. A reputable CRM can store all of the information about your customer base. This gives you a convenient platform to identify your different customer segments and sort them into lists based on certain factors (like their purchasing history).
Understand Your Industry And Competition
Another highly effective strategy for determining your ideal customer profile is to look at your industry and specifically, your competitors.
You’ll need to understand where your brand falls in relation to others in your market. Understanding this will help you establish your brand’s unique value proposition, which will help you identify the target customers to whom this value proposition appeals.
You can also look at your existing marketing campaigns to see what kind of messaging has been most impactful in the past. This will help you pinpoint your target customers’ interests.
Know What Problem Your Business Is Solving
By this stage, you’ll probably have a lot of data. This can make it tricky to really narrow down your ideal customer profile.
One of the most crucial ways to filter through this data is to stay focused on the “problem” your business is solving. Look towards your current customers and understand what is motivating them to support your business - what service/product you are offering them to “solve a problem” or fulfill a need/want.
Perhaps your customers are busy families looking for a break during the school holidays. Or, maybe they’re businesspeople looking to escape the stress of the office. They could also be students looking for an affordable way to travel during their Summer break.
Whatever the case, your goal is to understand the problem your target customers have and how your travel business can best solve this problem.
To successfully do this, you’ll need to understand how your customers are using your services and what kind of value they’re getting from them.
Build Target Customer Personas
Once you have identified all of this data, the next step is to create your ideal customer profile. This involves creating a visualized version with all of this information and profiling the type of person your business would target.
Various templates are available to help you put this together. When creating these personas, you want to keep things simple while still including enough relevant information about each target customer segment.
Finally, make sure that you consistently revisit these customer personas and refine them. Your travel business is always changing, which means your ideal customers may change too.
If you don't make the effort to establish a clear ideal customer profile, your travel business will be shooting in the dark trying to attract new customers.
The better you know and understand who you’re targeting and what motivates them, the more you can personalize your marketing and sales outreach efforts. This will save you time, money, and effort, helping you acquire more customers with a greater ROI.
This process is always changing, so it's important to constantly update and revisit your ideal customer profile. This will help you find better marketing channels to use, refine your marketing messages, establish better travel products, and set up a business strategy that helps you make a greater impact within your target market.
New resources, straight to your inbox
We’re committed to your privacy. WeTravel uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe at any time.