Profiling is done when a company records and analyzes a person or group of people’s behavior and psychological characteristics. Profiling helps companies predict or assess their needs and/or abilities. Profiling is also used to identify a group of people, or demographic. It has a wide variety of application including market research.

In marketing, profiling is used to narrow down the target market for a specific product. Profiling also helps marketers figure out the needs of the people belonging in that group. Marketers use profiling information to help determine product pricing, methods of distribution, and what kinds promotional and advertising campaign to launch.

Some of the factors that are considered when profiling a market segment include statistics like age, sex, gender, household income, household composition, race and ethnicity, religion, and educational background. Profiling also includes less concrete data, like people’s opinion of the brand, motivations when buying, and other buying habits.

To get the data needed for profiling, market researchers use different methods, from surveys to tests. Some examples of surveys and tests include opinion surveys (both for the company’s product and brand as their competitors), recall tests (for brand and product recall), concept testing, commercial eye tracking, audits, test marketing (soft launching a product to in a limited area for a limited time), customer panels, etc.

The energy and amount of money spent on profiling may excessive, but as marketers know, in the end the return of investment for doing this is well worth the effort.

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