Have you recently set up your businesses’ social media accounts, MailChimp newsletters or even created your YouTube channel to begin to market your businesses products/services to the world?
Although your product or service can be used by a wide variety of consumers, it is impossible to target everyone. Brands often segment their customers by their qualities such as demographics, gender, and so on. To be completely effective with your advertising messaging, we recommend segmenting your ideal customers into customer personas. This means giving that customer you have in your mind a name, face, attitude and person-like attributes.
What is a Customer Persona?
Knowing your target audience is important but creating a customer persona takes it one step further.
A customer persona is a way of dividing your target audience to develop a deeper understanding of your customer’s needs.
Your customer persona is developed from key traits that represent a large segment of your target audience. The aim is to create a fictional person that models the demographics, behaviours, buying patterns, goals and pain points from this segment.
It is unlikely that your customer base is made up of one type of person, that’s why many businesses create multiple customer personas. It’s better to start small, begin with creating 1-2 personas from larger customer segments.
In contrast, negative personas focus on segmenting the audience you don’t want to market to. These are people that are unlikely to purchase from you or may not be worth to costs to acquire and maintain.
Why should you create a customer persona?
It’s all about sharing:
- The right message
- With the right people
- In the right place
- At the right time
Customer personas help you develop personalised marketing communications targeted to specific customer segments. This includes knowing what marketing channels each persona prefers.
A Salesforce survey found over half of customers expect offers from companies to be personalised. If you’re targeting millennials, 67% expect personalised offers.
Benefits can be seen throughout the marketing funnel. Customer persona-based content increases customer engagement on cold leads by almost six-fold.
Customers are real people with differing wants and needs. It is a common mistake to assume you know what your customer wants.
To build an effective customer persona it must be based on real data.
How do you create a customer persona?
A customer persona ‘puts a face’ onto your customer information. So, where do you find that information? It’s likely you have more information than you think.
If you have already developed your target audience, this can be a good place to start. You can use this to source basic demographics and behavioural patterns.
You can use analytics from your website and social media channels to understand who is already buying from you. This includes looking through your customer database and contacts to observe any trends.
Asking for personal information on forms will help build personas in the future and can easily be applied to your website.
This will vary depending on your business, some examples are asking for company size, occupation or how they heard about you.
Look at the industry.
We don’t recommend copying your competitors but have a look at who they’re interacting with.
If they’re interacting with customer segments that you aren’t, ask yourself why and whether you should be targeting them too.
The most important step is asking other people. Surveys and interviews are a great way to figure out the goals and pain points of your ideal customers.
It is important to get a variety of respondents, those that know you and those that don’t. It’s easiest to start with your customers then move to prospects and even referrals.
Using third parties can ensure you find respondents that are unaware of you. This can be done through local networks or online within forums and websites.
Do the research, surveys and interviews and then accumulate the information together to create your customer personas. Building your customer personas will help decision making in all aspects of your business and improve engagement throughout the marketing funnel. If you need a hand getting clear on identifying your ideal customer, our team is always here to help.