Customer profiling

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Work package 5 – User Involvement, Profiling and Take-up(leader Norfolk County Council)

Norfolk County Council has developed a detailed methodology/business process to deliver a transnational customer profiling tool/method for the Smart Cities partners. The method describes how a profiling question should be answered: which steps to follow, and which tools to use in each stage of the customer profiling process.

The methodology is based upon the use of a comprehensive template/business process model, which will help users to develop a clear understanding of their aims in attempting to use this approach.

Case studies 

esd toolkit has been working with a number of local authorities in the UK and the results are shown as case studies.

This customer profiling guide has already been locally tested by four pilot projects in Norfolk, and is now being used by local pilots in Kortrijk and Leiedal in order to test the methodology’s transferability

Customer profiling in Smart Cities

Public services need to adapt to the needs of citizens. Often new e-services are technology-initiated, but Smart Cities starts with the user. Sociology, marketing and economic science have a lot to offer to the developers of e-services. This means bringing a range of data sources together to develop accurate profiles of target customer groups.

The Smart Cities project partners are using a wide range of geographical, transactional, demographic and survey data to better understand citizen’s needs and to reengineer services. This will allow partners to identify and use the most appropriate service channels for different target groups, and to proactively provide services that will meet their needs. This will ensure that services are designed and implemented in ways that recognise the specific needs of different groups of citizens.

When combined with the methods of co-design, the Smart Cities partners will be able to use a strong mix of knowledge and established best practices to do a better customer profiling and to identify the most appropriate channel choices for service delivery.

Customer Profiling Guide 2010 final.pdf3.71 MB


  • The Norfolk Customer Insight pilot will trial the Smart Cities customer profiling process with up to 5 sub projects.

  • There is a need to standardise how customers are profiled so municipalities can better target services to reach excluded groups. This pilot will define the standards by which customers are segmented and the techniques used to display customer profiles.

  • The new tourist office is a bit “hidden”, i.e. not so easy to find for tourists. The pilot will install make 5 digital interactive kiosks as “antennas” at places where visitors/tourists enter the city.

  • The city wants to discover the possibilities of narrowcasting. We are exploring the possibilities of this channel as a result of the procurement of the 5 led-walls. The intention is to have a visually stunning medium that replaces paper posters and other ways of announcing cultural events.

  • The city wants to streamline all communication and to offer associations the benefit of free promotion of their activities. For that purpose we roll out a network of information screens in city premises. There will be a network of at least two screens in every city building where visitors come and /or use premises.