The Profiler

Do you know your customers? This ASP gets personal.

Whether you sell products or services, it's no secret that consumers today demand a more personalized experience when they buy. The results of a recent study show you a new way to analyze how your customers think and why they make purchases.

Conducted by Yankelovich Partners Inc. from 1997 to 2000, the Monitor MindBase study segments customers into categories, including age, lifestyle and priorities, that marketers can apply to their customer databases to learn more about purchasing habits and preferences.

These new customer categories run the gamut, from "New Visionaries" (competitive consumers who view themselves as innovative) to "Heartwarmers" (family-oriented consumers who work toward long-term goals).

"Customers receive more than 3,000 advertising messages per day," says Doug Haley, chief knowledge officer at Yankelovich. "They've become [very] good at screening irrelevant messages. By knowing something about their core values, you can dramatically increase your ability to tailor your messages to be more appropriate."

Through a Web-based marketing ASP called DecisionDomain, you can use the MindBase tool with your existing database to define the makeup of your customer base. If you don't have a database, but just a list of customers, you can work with a third-party information provider (such as Axiom or Experian) directly or through the ASP to build a profile, which makes the tool more accessible.

Haley says it costs between $5,000 and $15,000 to access the service and approximately $60 per thousand names profiled. If information from a third-party provider is needed, expect to pay an additional $50 or more per thousand names, depending on the depth of the profile. You can find additional information about the ASP and the MindBase tool at

For a complete list of the consumer categories, click on "Marketing Smarts".

Gwen Moran is president of Moran Marketing Associates and founder of, a marketing information resource for small businesses. E-mail her at

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Gwen Moran is a freelance writer and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Plans (Alpha, 2010).

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This article was originally published in the January 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: The Profiler.

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