Your customers are the most essential aspect of your business, no matter what industry you are in. But how do you identify what your customers need and want from your business? The answer lays within developing marketing personas, which are character profiles that represent your target customers. A persona portrays a fictional customer to market to, and you will need more than one, including negative personas. However, creating customer personas is a time-consuming activity that might have you second-guessing the process. If you aren’t sold on customer personas, here are the real reasons to incorporate this strategy into your marketing to target the right audience for your business.
Benefits of Marketing Personas
According to CIO, the primary reason for customer personas is to guide your marketing efforts. As your team sits down to discuss a marketing campaign, you need to focus on the target of the message, which is your customers. When you have developed personas, your team can easily identify social demographics, personality types and cultural aspects of your audience.
An example of a persona would be a 35-year-old single male who owns one dog, lives in the city, and listens to Bon Iver. Each of these components is part of creating a focused campaign intended to engage potential customers. The more specific the persona, the better for your marketing needs.
Personas not only inform your marketing strategy, they enhance it. You are equipped to create online ads and social media posts that directly reflect the audience you are marketing to. For example, if your customer audience is primarily senior citizens living in retirement homes, then you wouldn’t use millennial-friendly wording or hipster videos to target this audience. This is where marketing personas come in, by defining the attributes of your audience so you can market directly to them.
Methods for Persona Development
If you are a new business and lack a proper understanding of your audience, it can seem impossible to create personas for them. However, as Forbes notes, you can conduct surveys and interviews with any existing customers or prospects. This is a good place to start in defining what your customers want and who they are. One way to get potential customers to respond to surveys is to set up a quick survey request on your website or social media profile.
If you already have a solid customer base and sales, then check out your CRM and sales data. Speak with your sales team to see what insights they have from customers. Also, take a look at social media and examine what types of individuals are following your profiles and leaving comments. This is a goldmine for data that can help you define your target audience.
While you are working to identify your target customer, set aside some energy to create negative personas. As highlighted by Inc., these personas showcase the types of people who are the least likely to buy your products or services. By determining who you want to avoid in marketing campaigns, you can better target your ad money to the right customer base.
Working with marketing personas allows you to develop the smartest understanding of your customers, and you can use these personas throughout your operations, from product development to marketing. In addition, plan on your personas to evolve over time as your company grows and your audiences change.