Historically, organizations have taken the approach of developing marketing personas and applying specific traits to a customer profile when trying to define their most valuable customers.
Beyond just the amount they spend in a year, these characteristics could include their age, product preferences, location, and even their career. For example, our menswear retailer might define their best customers as men who work in professional services like law or accounting, between the ages of 35 and 50, with an annual income of more than $100,000.
As organizations transition to a customer-centric approach, they may believe that combining a spending threshold with their customer persona is all they need to do. The problem here is that what we’ve described above is an aspirational persona, rather than an informational persona. Instead of being informed by the company’s data, this persona was developed using guesswork and assumptions. That menswear retailer’s sales and marketing leaders may want their ideal customer to make $100,000 a year or more, but the reality could be that they collect most of their revenue from those making between $50,000 and $75,000. The takeaway? Let the data do the talking.