Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Today we are going to talk about how to create and utilize customer personas.
The marketing landscape seems to be in almost a constant state of flux. New marketing tools and processes are always being implemented. Not to mention that consumer trends that impact campaigns can shift at very little notice. As such, finding reliable and agile marketing tools are an invaluable use of your time.
While digital technology is increasingly important, analog in nature is one of the most effective tools. Building an accurate and robust set of customer personas is powerful for both digital and traditional marketing campaigns. No matter what the other changes across the industry are, getting to know the people you’re pitching to will always be a powerful driver of your success.
So, how can you create and utilize customer personas for marketing? Let’s explore the process.
Recognize The Advantages
It’s important to first gain an understanding of why customer personas can make a genuine difference to your campaigns. Firstly, being able to communicate the key reasons for this move can improve buy-in with your team and their tendency to use these effectively. Importantly, a good perspective on the value of personas may influence your ability to adjust the practice to your campaign’s needs.
One key point to consider is the potential for personalization. Without accurate buyer personas, you usually take a more generalized marketing approach. However, consumers today tend to expect a personal touch to some degree. Creating buyer personas makes it more practical for you to provide consumers with materials and messaging that is more aligned with their specific needs, interests, and motivations.
You should also remember that there are many resources available to marketers in the digital landscape. However, not all of these will effectively impact all demographics. Different social media platforms are more popular with certain consumers than with others. Podcasts may connect with some audiences, while blog content can be more appropriate for an alternative segment. Your personas allow you to hone in on the most effective marketing resources.
Gather And Analyze Data
Accurate data is among your most important resources for creating customer personas. Thankfully, there isn’t a shortage of sources for your data in our digital landscape in which users leave fingerprints from all their actions. Buyer behavior on your website, social media insights, and survey responses are all important ways to gather information. Nevertheless, wider market research into your target demographics can provide you with additional actionable data.
Once you’ve gathered your data, it’s important to analyze this to gain insights into some key areas that inform personas. This should include information on their needs both in relation to your services and in their personal and professional lives. Establish what their pain points are and how they prefer to overcome such obstacles. Look into what their expectations are for any buying experience. Start to build a sense of what consistently connects different subsections of your target demographics.
Construct Detailed Profiles
With your data in hand, you can start to construct detailed profiles for your buyer personas. From the outset, you should avoid treating each persona as simply a collection of data. Instead, approach the process as though you are building real-life characters. This not only helps you to better visualize your audience, but it can also help you and your team to treat them like real people. After all, your digital marketing strategy is intended to reach your human customers in meaningful ways.
Start by naming each profile. Assign an age rather than listing a general range. Write about each person as though they’re living and breathing. What are each person’s behavioral drivers and what matters the most to them in their lives? Write about how each person utilizes the online marketplace and how it fits into their lives. When detailing obstacles and needs, don’t just focus on the practical elements but also on each persona’s emotions.
When creating your profiles, it’s also vital to embrace diversity. There will almost certainly be cultural and socioeconomic experiences that influence consumers’ responses to marketing. Your approach should also include considerations for mobility and learning challenges your personas live with. This can help you to better understand how some consumers with disabilities may have different digital accessibility needs. You then create online assets appropriate for a wider audience and adopt accessibility testing tools to identify hurdles.
Create Customer Journeys
A set of persona profiles is a useful tool. However, your success will lie in how you utilize it. It’s tempting to simply identify the marketing tools most effective for each profile and deploy these accordingly. However, you may end up making the mistake of treating your consumers as a simple collection of conversion metrics rather than as complex people. Instead, you should take your personas and develop customer journeys for each.
Gather your marketing team and create customer journey maps that outline the steps each customer takes while engaging with your business. In essence, you’re utilizing these characters you’ve built to tell their ideal story from discovery to conversion and beyond. This isn’t about prescribing a specific route. Humans are fickle beings, after all. Rather, you’re marking out the most likely touchpoints that resonate with them and how you can give them the best experience in each to move them further along the journey. You’ll often find that this helps you key into both the practical and emotional elements in a way that garners the most effective engagement.
Customer personas help you to better understand your consumers so you can create a more effective marketing strategy to reach them. This process is always best influenced by accurate data insights, gathered through the audience’s digital activities and traditional market research. When constructing profiles, it’s important to treat personas as people and design a journey that connects on both practical and emotional levels. It’s not an easy process, but it helps you provide more meaningful and successful relationships with consumers.
After reading this post we hope that you are more comfortable with knowing how to create and utilize customer personas. Please contact Matchbox Design Group today with any questions or to hire us for your next job.
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