Simple Steps to Identify Your Most Valuable Customer Types

Generating a return on your marketing investment starts by knowing which customer types generate the most revenue and profit.

Best Customer Types

Once you know your top customer types you can map their buying cycles. With knowledge of their buying cycles you will know exactly when, where, and how to provide information that helps them make decisions, and influences them to transact business with you.


Identify your top customer types by organizing information about them into four categories;

  1. Background
  2. Demographics
  3. Behaviors
  4. Financial situation

Now, start gathering the following information for each category:


What is their job title?

What is their profession?

Is there anything common about the type of work that they do, or the profession they are in?

Do they have white or blue collar job?

Are your best customers highly educated with advanced degrees, college graduates, street wise, tradesman, or something else?



What is the age range of the top 1%, and the top 20% of your customers?

What is their gender, or percent male versus female?

Are they typically married or single?

Do they typically have children; how many?

Where do they live, work, and shop?

Are they more often retired, working, or students?

Do your customers have common ethnic backgrounds?

Purchasing behavior


What are your customers’ key buying factors; price, convenience, service, quality, value, warranty, trust, or something else?

What are the top three reasons that your customers buy from you instead of a competitor?

What are your customers key concerns?

What problems are your customers trying to solve?

Do your customers often buy companion products?

Do they shop from home?

Do they require assistance when shopping?

Are your customers catalogue, discount, or coupon shoppers?

Do they have a lot of product knowledge?

Are they online savvy?

Do you have any clue how much free time your best customers have, and/or what they might do with it; travel, relax, read books, watch TV, cook, etc.

Do they take an annual vacation?

Financial Situatin

Financial Situation

Do your customers have high paying jobs?

Do they own at least a part of their business?

What are they willing to pay for your product(s) or service(s)?

What is the estimated average annual household income for the top 20% of your customers?

Do they own their own home?

Do they own a car?

Do they own a vacation home, or property?


If you’re having trouble answering the questions, here are some tips for getting started;

  1. Look through your past customer information.
  2. Call them if you need to.
  3. Call both good and bad customers.
  4. If possible, conduct research on both good and bad customers (phone calls, surveys, focus groups) if need be.
  5. Conduct 3 to 5 interviews for each customer type.
  6. Send an email survey, and offer a free gift card or otem for its return.

Once you’ve identified your top customer types, you can start mapping their buying process to find places where you can provide helpful information that influences their purchasing decisions.

Next Article: STEP 2: Mapping Your Top Customers’ Buying Cycles and Behaviors