Before starting any marketing exercise, it is important to do some work on personas. I know that sounds like a bit of marketing speak which you can safely ignore but, in fact, defining your personas is one of the most important marketing exercises you can undertake.
First things First – what is a marketing persona?
A marketing persona is a semi fictional representation of your ideal customer. Deciding who your personas are is usually based on a combination of market research based on your existing customers and aspiration of what customers you would like to attract to your business with a bit of creative license thrown in!
Personas should be a fairly detailed representation of who those customers and would be customers are. To create a buyer persona you need to look at:
Who they are: Their demographic information including gender, age range and location.
What they do: The kind of employment this person has and at what level.
Why would they buy your product? What are the specific needs and drives which lead to people purchasing your product?
Why would they not buy your product? What are the barriers and reasons which may stop that person from buying your products or service? Cost?, speed of delivery? Lack of trust?
What are their needs and their Frustrations/problems? Identify what problems (related to your business) your ideal customer needs solving.
Personality traits: Are they Impulsive, cautious, concerned about value for money or whether the product is as good as it promises.
Where do they look for information? Are they social media users, if so which channels. Which types of website are they likely to get their information from.
There may be other elements you could include within your persona research which you may be helpful depending on the nature of your business and what you are promoting. For instance, if you sell software, you may want to know what the level of technical expertise of your potential user is.
Most businesses will have more than one ideal customer, leading to more than one persona style. You should repeat the exercise for all of them.
OK – now I have defined my personas – what’s next?
Persona creation is the starting point for your overall marketing strategy and you should think about which of your personas you are targeting in every element of your marketing. Identifying a persona will help you to stay focussed when you are writing content and give you a greater understanding of your customers. That greater understanding leads to a more empathetic way of communicating with them which will help to build a relationship of trust.
Identifying your persona types can often help you to identify those customer types who are likely to be the easiest to convert by looking at the intensity and frequency of their problem.
Once you have a sense of who it is you are aiming at in terms of your customers you can start to make some more informed decisions about how you are going to reach those people and the messages which will resonate best with them. Showing an understanding of how your product or service can solve their problem or make their life easier is a powerful message! For more information have a look at our website.