While there are thousands of ways to spend money on marketing, none of them will be truly effective if you don’t take the time to first create your customer Personas. Building a Persona helps you to better understand your customers and speak to them effectively. Personas remove some of the guesswork in marketing by bringing greater clarity to your customers’ needs. If that’s not enough reason to embrace Personas, keep in mind that well-thought-out Personas can also keep you from making costly mistakes.
What is a Persona?
A marketing Persona is an outline or sketch of a key segment of your audience. Personas help you deliver messaging, campaigns, and content that resonate with your audience. Pinpointing your target audience involves getting in the headspace of your customers and segmenting your audience by demographics like location, age, gender, income, interests, and more.
A Persona should have enough psychological detail to allow you to put yourself in their shoes and see your products and services from their perspective. A Persona can function almost like another person in the room when brainstorming or making a decision. It allows you to look at what you’re doing from your customer’s vantage point.
When the Small Dog Creative team develops Personas, we like to take the demographics a step further and look at each as a fictional representation of the customer. We assign them a personality and a photo to help make them feel like a real entity. This makes it easier to create messaging and to market to them because of course, real people are easier to talk to than a bulleted list of demographics.
Why is a Persona Valuable?
Before starting any of your marketing you need to understand your customers. Your customer Personas are part of the foundation of your marketing and sales strategy.
When you can put a name, background, and story to your customers, you can better empathize with them, see what challenges they face, and develop marketing campaigns that resonate with them. While Personas are not perfect, they can prevent you from making poor decisions on ad buys, from designing campaigns that flop, and keep you from wasting money on ads geared towards the wrong market. Personas allow you to easily assess what types of marketing are most likely to succeed before you jump in head-first.
Speaking to each of your Personas
Your Personas will guide how you communicate with each one of them. The purpose of dividing your customers into different Personas is to allow for better communication and understanding. Now that you clearly understand the segments of customers you have, you need to speak to each of your Personas differently. This means dividing your marketing messaging, strategies, and tactics accordingly.
Here is an example of what that might look like:
Persona 1: Business to Business (B2B) Owner Bob
- Brief on Bob: Bob is a business owner who wants to make sure his vendors have experience in their industries and can show a proven track record.
- When Messaging to Bob: Emphasize your 15-year history of client success stories and always highlight positive testimonials
- Best Marketing Channels to Reach Bob: Industry publications, Linked In, Facebook, Google Remarketing Ads, Email Marketing
Persona 2: Business to Consumer (B2C) Marketing Mary
- Brief on Mary: Mary doesn’t have time to do background research on her vendors. She trusts whoever larger companies work with. “If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.”
- When Messaging to Mary: The Pros Use Us!
- Best Marketing Channels to Reach Mary: Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Google Remarketing Ads, Email Marketing
How can your team use Personas?
Personas can help lead your team into the headspace of your customers. Personas can help to facilitate a genuine understanding of the thoughts, feelings, personality, and behaviors of your customers. Once completed, use your Persona insight to adjust key parts of your marketing and sales process including the following:
- Your Messaging
- Your Branding
- Your Core Values
- Presentations & Proposals
- The Structure of your Website
- Your Marketing Channels
- And more
Let the Personas Guide Your Products or Services
Personas can even affect your products or services. Digging into how your products and services benefit your customers can open insights into the true value of your offerings and can guide changes to your product or service in the future.
Consider your Personas and take a look at the following:
- Service changes
- Product innovations
- Product or Service Additions
Personas will make your marketing messages targeted, specific, and effective for your intended audience. Although they take a little time and effort to create and implement, your Personas are invaluable to the success and growth of your business. The changes we have made using Persona-driven research has lead to sizable improvements for businesses. Take a look at your marketing through the eyes of your Personas and don’t be afraid to change your marketing so it speaks to your customers.
In our next article, we’ll dig into how to create Personas and what specific questions you should ask when developing your Personas.