Marketing & Communications Centre > Marketing Essentials > Help Sheets > Profiling


What is Profiling?

Profiling is, very simply, a set of characteristics or features that help identify and put your target audience into groups.

Put another way, profiling is like building up an identikit picture of your target contact or contacts.

You can profile in any number of categories – from the more basic, like age, gender, occupation or geographical area - to more specific profiles possibly relating to your group's activities – for example, local football clubs could profile their contacts by team supported or favourite player.

Every contact you have on your database provides you with information about themselves, and what they do. Tools like profiling and segmentation (discussed in another help sheet – available by Clicking Here) can help your group make sense and organise this information.

Generally speaking, the more extensive the information your group has on its contacts or target audience, the better the level and accuracy of profiling it would be able to do – and then the more accurate and effective any targeted mail-outs will be.

Why Should Your Community Group Profile?

Profiling can:
  • Help your community organisation or not-for-profit better target its direct mail-outs.
  • Save your community group money through it being able to produce a smaller direct mail-out which also better targets recipients – and elicits a higher level of response from them.
  • Help you make your direct mail communications more personal.
  • Help you find out what interests your contacts, and what messages and communications appeal to them.
  • Be a tool in helping your group attract new contacts, as your group knows its existing contacts and can target people with similar characteristics.
  • Help your group improve what it offers or says in its direct mail-outs, increasing the chances of eliciting a response.
Profiling needs to be an on-going activity, and something which should be done periodically to help chart the changing trends in your target audience.

Of course, community organisations can do their own profiling work and derive benefits from it. The help sheet Relating to Contacts – How to Profile provides information and guidance for groups to undertake their own profiling work.

The information contained on this site is subject to change. Our Community will not be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever coming from reliance placed on all or part of its contents.