Customer attributes serve as the building blocks for creating well-targeted marketing campaigns that work. But not only! The attributes might help to deliver customer service experiences as well.
Customer attributes include simple details such as age and zip code, as well as deeper behavioral data. And managing them needs careful planning.
If you’re a marketer or a vendor wanting to know your customers better, this guide will show you how to create and use customer attributes.
Using them, companies can understand their customers better and create personalized interactions for better results.
Let’s dive into how to apply this in your business.
What is a customer attribute?
A customer attribute describes an individual customer’s characteristics, behaviors, or interactions with a business.
These attributes can range from demographic details like age and gender to behavioral data such as purchase history. Businesses use these attributes to group customers, tailor marketing actions, and better the experience for the customer.
Types of customer attributes
#1 Demographic attributes
Examples: age (25-34), gender (female), income ($50,000-$75,000)
- These attributes help in creating a basic customer profile. For instance, a SaaS company targeting young professionals might focus on the 25-34 age group with a moderate income level.
#2 Geographic attributes
Examples: country (USA), city (New York), region (Northeast)
- Knowing the geographic location makes it easier for businesses to tailor offerings to local tastes or comply with regional regulations. For example, a cloud storage service might offer data centers located in specific countries to comply with local data protection laws.
#3 Psychographic attributes
Examples: lifestyle (eco-conscious), values (sustainability), interests (outdoor activities)
- Understanding these attributes can help a fitness app, e.g., to focus its marketing on eco-conscious individuals who enjoy outdoor activities.
#4 Behavioral attributes
Examples: purchase history (bought office suite), product usage (high), engagement level (active on forums)
- A software company could use this data to identify customers who are likely to be interested in an advanced feature set, based on their high engagement and previous purchases.
#5 Technographic attributes
Examples: devices used (iPhone, MacBook), software preferences (iOS)
- If a business learns many customers prefer Apple products, a mobile app developer might work more on making their app great for iOS devices.
#6 Transactional attributes
Examples: payment methods (credit card), purchase frequency (monthly), average order value ($100)
- A subscription-based service might offer special deals to frequent buyers or those with a high average order value.
#7 Social media attributes
Examples: social media platforms used (Instagram, Twitter), followers count (500-1000), engagement rate (5%)
- These metrics can guide a company in choosing which social media platforms are best for advertising.
#8 Customer feedback attributes
Examples: customer satisfaction score (CSAT) (80%), net promoter score (NPS) (60)
- A high CSAT score could indicate that a new feature is well-received, while a lower NPS might signal that improvements are needed to enhance customer loyalty.
#9 Custom attributes
Examples: subscription type (premium), loyalty program status (gold member)
- For a streaming service, knowing that a customer has a Premium subscription can be useful for recommending higher-tiered content or services.
How to create a customer attribute in 8 steps
Let’s jump straight into the details.
Step 1: Define the objective for the new attribute
Before creating a new attribute, know its goal in your company’s marketing or customer strategy. Understand why you’re collecting this data and how you’ll use it for grouping or changing things.
Why is it useful? 🤔 The attribute works well for your campaign or makes customer service better.
Step 2: Choose the data type
Decide on the data type for the new attribute you’d like to add. This could be a string (e.g., first name), integer (e.g., age), boolean (e.g., subscribe or not), or an array (e.g., list of purchased items). It cannot be changed once set, so choose carefully.
Why is it useful? 🤔 Understanding the data type is key to how you will later filter, analyze, and utilize this attribute in your database.
Step 3: Configure the parameter
The next step is to configure the parameter settings for the attribute. It could be setting up default values, limitations, and whether the attribute will repeat within the set period. Using parameters, we can filter and structure customer data.
Why is it useful? 🤔 Proper parameter configuration is necessary for data integrity and for meeting specific analytics needs.
Step 4: Update the database
Once the parameter is configured, update the database to include the new attribute. For future campaigns, this is a must for analytics, as it guarantees the attribute values are stored and accessible via API.
Why is it useful? 🤔 Keeping the database updated ensures that all team members, from marketers to customer service representatives, are working with the latest and most accurate information.
Step 5: Collect device attributes
If relevant, collect device attributes such as mobile device type, operating system (Apple’s iOS, Android), or unique identifier (IDFA for Apple devices). This information is useful for ad targeting and message customization.
Why is it useful? 🤔 Collecting device attributes allows for more accurate segmentation and improved campaign relevance.
Step 6: Add attributes to user’s profile
Manually or automatically add attributes to the user’s profile. You can do it through customer service, during the subscribe process, or through cookies. Generate a unique ID for each person’s profile for easier segmentation.
Why is it useful? 🤔 By doing so, you are personalizing the user experience and tailoring future interactions based on user attributes.
Step 7: Evaluate and test
Before rolling it out in your campaign, review the new attribute, so it provides actionable insight. Test it in a small percentage of your campaign to see if it meets your objectives and adjust as needed.
Why is it useful? 🤔 Before a full-scale implementation can begin, this evaluation phase is fundamental for identifying any issues or limitations.
Step 8: Implement in campaigns
Implement the new attribute in your campaigns. Use it to segment your audience, filter your message, and update your ads. Whether it’s an SMS campaign, email, or other types of messages, the attribute should add value and make it easier for marketers to target their audiences.
Why is it useful? 🤔 The final implementation should be closely monitored to make sure it contributes to campaign performance, customer engagement, and a customer relationship in a positive way.
Use Xtremepush to create customer attributes and tags
Xtremepush is a customer engagement platform that provides capabilities for personalized omnichannel marketing and customer data analysis.
See how it works!
➡️ An attribute holds a single value linked to a user or device profile. For instance, “First Name” or “Membership Level”. Very useful ones for segmenting or personalizing messaging campaigns.
➡️ To view or edit existing attributes and tags, go to Data → Data Manager → Attributes & Tags. You’ll see a table showing which are set as Device or Profile attributes. You can filter this list using the search fields at the top.
➡️ Press the “Create tag” button to create a new attribute or tag. Set the name, data type, and decide if the new key should be a User Profile or Device attribute, or just a regular tag.
➡ ️ The name should be simple, avoiding spaces and dots. Use lowercase letters, digits, and underscores for easier integration with mobile and web SDKs and the API. The “Display Name” field gives a friendly name for the field within Xtremepush. An “Alias” can be set, e.g., if Android and iOS tags have different names and you want to link them for consistent analytics.
➡️ Choose the data type for the attribute. Options include String, Number, Integer, DateTime, Date, Array, Object, and Boolean. Each type has specific formatting rules.
➡️ When attributes are ready, you can manually assign them to user profiles from the platform. Go to Data → Users, select a profile ID, and scroll to the Attributes section. Click “Assign attribute,” pick a predefined attribute, and type its value.
📰 Need more info? Check out the documentation on customer attributes.
Using customer attributes is a base for building targeted and successful commerce and marketing campaigns.
No matter if you want to add basic properties like zip codes or more complex attributes like user behavior, the process described above provides a comprehensive guide.
For example, using liquid logic in your campaigns lets you dynamically insert these attributes to build more personalized messages.
Be explicit about the type of data you collect and how it will be used. Predefined attributes can be beneficial, but the flexibility to add the following attributes based on emerging needs is just as important.
Vendors often provide tools to manage these attributes, including options to delete or update them, especially in cases like password resets or app uninstalls.
Before, many businesses overlooked the nuanced potential of customer attributes, but in today’s data-driven business environment, they are necessary for any successful marketing strategy.
Want to start using customer attributes? Get a demo of Xtremepush.