The use of customer personas in marketing is a critical and foundational step for businesses to be able to map out their strategies.
Personas help a business understand its customer’s behaviors and attitudes. In addition, they establish demographic segments to target sales at. It doesn’t matter where your organizations may be in your digital transformation. The creation and adherence to customer personas are key.
Therefore it is a vital part of building and succeeding in a data-driven, customer-centric marketing strategy.
According to a consumer marketing study, 90 percent of those who responded wanted brands to share with and interact more with them. However, only 10 percent of people felt that they were currently doing that very well. Additionally, the use of persona is critical in knowing what your customers hope or expect you to share with them.
What are customer personas?
Customer personas are a means of defining the ideal customer groups based on research in the market. The idea of using customer personas in marketing was developed by Angus Jenkinson. He was a professor of integrated marketing. His idea was then put to use by OgilvyOne Worldwide.
One way to define customer personas is a composite sketch of a key segment of your audience.
Customer personas allow your business, especially your marketing, and content teams, to focus their product development. In addition, it allows them to align your efforts on your target customer’s behaviors and needs.
A marketing persona usually has something like a semi-fictional profile. It has a name, education, picture, job history, family, and personal interests. Therefore, depending on your business and industry, you may have as few as one or two personas. However, you may eventually have as many as twenty. As a result, it’s always a good idea to start small and focused.
Why do they matter?
Marketing personas are like the foundation for building your marketing house.
When you are able to target personas this lets you focus your marketing on prospects that are qualified. As you use them, you can attract valuable customers. Those customers are those who are more likely to convert and be retained as long-term customers.
Using the persona, you are able to offer personalized content to your customers. Therefore, you engage the appropriate supporting technology to target different audience segments more effectively.
Personas offer a deeper and richer understanding of customers and prospects for higher-quality product development. However, personas can also help you create a shorter design cycle. This is because the requirements are clearly outlined.
In addition, you can use them in the development of new products. Furthermore, they help define priorities based on user feedback. Content marketing is also affected. Combine them with lifecycle stage marketing. This way you can use them to help you create content for your target audience.
How to create a persona.
Customer personas or buyer personas begin with the appropriate market research and customer research. This happens through surveys, contact databases, interviews, web forms, call center logs, and sales. Actually, it comes from wherever you can get good customer-centric data.
There are four core steps to creating a buyer persona.
- Quantitative Analysis
- Qualitative Analysis
- Drafting the Persona
- Socializing the Persona Internally
For the quantitative analysis, start with a customer list. This list has basic demographic information like company name, country, industry, city, revenue, etc.
You should also be collecting engagement information. Collect things like how many times they log into a website or how often they use a product. Further, analyze that list looking for trends. There are tools available for this analysis.
Once you know your target audience, expand your knowledge through customer interviews. Do this by phone or in person. After that, they should be followed up with a written summary of the interviews in a spreadsheet.
After you have done all your research, it’s time to draft your personas.
There are a lot of sample templates out there. Just do a search for ones that match your industry or applications.
Customer personas will include information such as choice factors, personal details, buying triggers, and use cases.
Finally, after the persona has been put into the draft, it’s time to socialize it around your company. Get feedback from all the relevant stakeholders. This will help you refine them to fill in any gaps you may have missed. However, it also lets you get others in the company familiar and comfortable with the process.
Customer personas — sometimes called buyer or marketing personas — are must-haves for marketing departments. It is vital for those who want to move into more customer-centric and data-driven programs.
Therefore, no matter where your organization is on the digital maturity scale, customer personas are foundational. They are key to making consistent and duplicatable criteria where your customers and prospects are concerned. Furthermore, they can help provide the basis for your business strategy.
Customers are looking for more personalized interaction and value from brands they interact with. In addition, establishing personas allows marketers to fully understand and target those customer segments in the best way.