The first step in using a target marketing application is creating a segmentation profile. A profile is a summarization of geographic, customer, or survey data across all segments that make up the segmentation system being used. With a profile, you can determine your target customer or area, which in turn can help you target your efforts according to customer likes and preferences.
Profiles can be based on households or adults (population age 18 and up). The base type you choose is dependent on the type of product or service you are analyzing. For example, if you are an appliance retailer, your customer is typically a household since it is unlikely that members of the household are going to purchase their own refrigerator or washing machine—they are going to purchase for the household as a group. If you are a shoe company, your customer is a person, not a household. Shoes are typically purchased for an individual, not for a group.