A customer persona aka buyer persona is a semi-fictional character of your ideal/potential customer. It represents your target audience by collecting data from your existing users and web analytics.
It's not always necessary to collect data from a real customer, it can be a fictional character that embodies all the best features/characteristics of your potential customers.
Your customer persona needs to have a:
The above set of persona would help you understand your customers:
You can also give a face to your buyer persona using stock images. The main idea behind having a persona is to think and speak like your customers. This will help you in understanding your customers better and would allow you to craft targeted marketing messages.
Your buyer persona would play a crucial role in guiding you right from your product development to having a voice for your brand across your social channels.
One thing to keep in mind here is not all of your customers are the same. They have their reasons to opt for your product and service. Therefore you cannot just rely on one persona for all your customers. You need to have a different customer persona to represent different segments of your customer base.
In simple words, it’s the exact opposite of your customer/buyer persona. If your customer persona is a representation of your ideal/potential customer, a "negative customer persona" includes the ones which you don't want to see as your customers.
This could include customers who might be hard to acquire or might not provide you with enough value i.e their churn rate might be quite high and they might not repurchase from your brand.
Customer personas help your brand in creating content and marketing strategies that appeal to your potential audience. It also helps you to segment your audience and target them using personalized marketing campaigns.
For example, you can send personalized mail to your audience by segmenting them based on their personas instead of sending the same mail to all your leads. This will fetch you more results as you can tailor-make your content as per their preference.
Customer personas also help you in mapping out your audience based on their buyer’s journey. This will allow you to come up with strategies to target them effectively and keep them connected with your brand at all times.
As stated above, having a negative customer persona in mind would provide you an added advantage of segmenting the right audience for your business. This will help you in focusing on your ideal customers and increasing productivity while optimally using your resources.
Customer personas help you in understanding your ideal customers to align your marketing goals and strategies accordingly. This helps you to tailor-make your:
Market research and insights can help you gather the relevant data of your customer base by taking their interviews, surveys, etc.
Personas can depend on several factors, you can either have 1-2 or go all the way up to having 10-20 personas. But if you're new to it, it’s advisable to start small and develop more as you progress.
To be honest, there isn't any set list of customer personas to choose from and nor is there any limitation on the total number of personas you need to have. This is because no business is alike and therefore their buyer personas are different and unique, suiting their brand’s objectives.
Due to this simple reason, identifying and creating a buyer persona could be a difficult task at times. But once it's been created it can help you to reach your ideal customers.
Now that we know the importance of customer persona, let’s go through the steps on creating one for your business:
Try to create a persona based on real-world data of your audience. Collect details like this:
You can collect this information from social media analytics, web analytics, existing customer database, etc.
Try to find the problems and challenges your customers face and try to solve them. Look for reasons that are stopping them from reaching their goals. Try out social listening to know your customers better.
This is the complete opposite of the above point. Don't just focus on finding their pain points, also look for their goals and aspirations that they would want to achieve.
It could be their personal goals, professional goals. etc. Try to align their goals with the product or service that you're offering to make them happy and satisfied at all times.
Don't just try to promote or sell your services to your customers, try to understand their goals and pain points to build an effective strategy. Don't emphasize your product features, focus on the benefits that would make your customer’s life easy by solving their problem.
Once you complete all the above steps the last and final step is to group them to build a unique customer persona.
By using the above research you can create a persona that can have the characteristics of a real person. This will allow you to build your strategies around them to help them reach their desired objective while you enjoy their loyalty towards your brand.
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