It is important to know your customers. Who is your target audience and how well do you know them? Persona-based marketing is one of the main tenets of digital marketing. Advertising, sales, web design and many other sectors also take count of customer persona when targeting and evaluating their brand.
What is a customer persona?
A customer persona or buyer persona is an archetypal representation of an ideal semi fictional persona. It is created by compiling data gathered from market research and information on existing customers.
It gives you insights on what your prospective customers want and need and can be used to design user journeys and service experiences that are more solution oriented for your relevant customer base.
Why is having a customer persona important?
Having well-defined customer personas is vital for marketing, customer service and even product development . It essentially helps you develop a deeper understanding of your customer base and deliver your services based on specific needs, interests, concerns, behavior patterns and demographic of your target audience.
By identifying your customer personas you can truly explore what makes your buyer tick and act accordingly:
- Understand your target audience on the basis of their age, location,interests and needs.
- Focus on how your product can best solve your customers' problems.
- Derive a customer centric approach while creating and updating features for your products and services
- Create targeted and personalised campaigns, projects and only prioritize the right initiatives to invest in.
This would help you increase conversions, boost customer satisfaction levels, improve loyalty rates, and even turn a larger amount of your customers into brand evangelists.
The act of having consumer personas in place helps you rally your entire organization around your customers and their needs, challenges, and goals.
How do you create a customer persona?
There is a lot of research involved in creating customer personas. It is not just limited to market research, but extends into understanding your own existing customers. You will need to speak to your sales and support team to understand your existing customers and gather data about them. You might even need to look at their social media profiles to gather more information while creating user personas.
Here are some other things you can do to find data before creating a customer persona:
- Go through your database to find trends that have helped in leads/ customers finding and consuming your content.
- Create and distribute forms through your website and social media channels to capture required information to capture your target audience's persona.
- Talk to customer service and sales department for feedback on customers and leads they have most interacted with.
- Interview customers and prospects for feedback on your product and its campaigns.
- Find common tropes and generalizations to help segregate your consumer base and combine it with your research.
Factors to consider when curating your customer person
It is imperative to know aspects like age, ethnicity, gender, location, preferred language, socio-economic background, spending habits and interests of your intended target audience. This helps you understand exactly who all are interested in your product and what might be their motivations for being interested in them. It also helps in setting the rates for your products to make sure your customer base can purchase it conveniently.
Know what channels your customers spend most of their time on. Find out which social media channels are they using and for what reasons.Do they tend to hop across multiple channels? This information will help you be present where they are and frame an omnichannel marketing and engagement strategy well suited to target them.
Understand the problems and challenges your customers are facing. How can your product solve their problem? This could involve organizational challenges as well as personal problems. This information will help you improve your product/services and build the perfect marketing campaigns around it. If your product works for your audience, it is important to be able to highlight it in a way that they will see and appreciate.
Find out the objectives and motivations of your consumers. What do they want to achieve and what motivates them in their professional and personal lives? Knowing this information will help you understand why they need and/or use your product and tie together how your services can help them achieve these objectives.
Knowing your audience's interests is extremely important. What are the common interests that majority or your leads and customers share? These factors can play a huge role as information for creating marketing campaigns, shareable anecdotes and other content. You can also use the information to find which brands to partner with and platforms to advertise on.
Consumer behavior encompasses all the aspects, actions, and behavioral patterns regarding how your customers shop, consume and dispose of products. It also helps you build engaging and relatable content for them. All in all, understanding consumer behavior is probably one of the most crucial aspects after demographic.
You need to know how your customers prefer to receive and consume information. Do they read the newspaper, scroll through social media, use search engines like Google or do they prefer trusting word of mouth. All information might majorly come from social media these days, but users also often engage in listening to podcasts, streaming content and even reading content both online and offline. Know where their clicks are coming from and why. Understanding how your ideal customers prefer consuming their information is critical to getting into your customers’ heads and creating a comprehensive buyer persona.
Once you have all your data, collected and compiled. You can easily sort out the common factors and characteristics from your data and create your customer persona. You can create your own ideal customer by giving them a fictional identity with all the information you have gathered. You can then use that identity for your marketing, product development and customer support services and keep updating and improving your information with practice and experience.
What is a negative customer persona?
Negative buyer personas are representations of people whom you don’t want as customers and would avoid targeting. These could include students who are just exploring your product for academic purposes and customers whose acquisition cost would tend to be higher than their lifetime value.
Types of customer persona
Three major types of users to keep in mind when creating personas are:
Represents your ideal target customer to purchase your product or service.
Represents the users or the customers actively using your product or service.
Represents all your website and social media visitors.
How many customer personas should you have?
The answer to this question is not set in stone. It depends on a number of factors; from the size of your business to the number of products you offer, and your lines of business.
If you are just starting out, you might want to go niche and focus on one business persona. Concentrate your efforts on searching for leads that match that persona. As you grow, you can add more personas. A small to medium-sized business might focus on creating 3-8 personas.
It is better to avoid making too many personas as it can be confusing for brands to keep up.