Introduction to Customer Analysis

A customer analysis (or customer profile) is a critical section of a company’s business plan or marketing plan. It identifies target customers, ascertains the needs of these customers, and then specifies how the product satisfies these needs. A customer analysis can be broken down into a behavioral profile (why your product matches a customer’s lifestyle) and a demographic profile (describing a customer’s demographic attributes).

A customer profile is a simple tool that can help business better understand current and potential customers, so they can increase sales and grow their business. Customer profiles are a collection of information about customers that help determine why people buy or don’t buy a product. Customer profiles can also help develop targeted marketing plans and help ensure that products meet the needs of their intended audience.

Behavioral Analysis (Customer Buying Criteria)

A behavioral analysis of customers (or psychographic profile) seeks to identify and weigh the relative importance of factors consumers use to choose one product over another. These factors, sometimes called buying criteria, are key to understanding the reasons that customers choose to buy your product (or service) versus the products offered by your competitors. The four major criteria that customers use to distinguish competing products are: price, quality, convenience andprestige.

In consumer transactions, price and quality tend to be the dominant factors. However with business-to-business (B2B) transactions (also called industrial marketing), service issues such as reliability, payment terms, and delivery schedule become much more important. The sales transaction in an industrial marketing scenario also differs from consumer marketing in that the purchase decision is typically made by a group of people instead of one person, and the selling process can be much more complex (including stages such as: request for bid, proposal preparation and contract negotiations).

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