In-Depth Guide to Marketing Personas – Part 1

The last few years marked great upheavals in the digital marketing arena.

Changes in search engine algorithms and constant crackdowns on spam led online marketers to rethink their strategies. They totally avoided low-quality link building ploys. Instead, they focused on getting high-quality but definitely hard-earned links by continuously spurting out awesome content.

Still, many traditional marketers cling to age-old beliefs and refused to mend or update their ways. There were even some who still practiced dubious link buying strategies.

Are these feeble attempts to influence search engine deities to cast them some ranking favours? Maybe.

One thing’s for sure, they failed to realise that content marketing is now back in the spotlight. Great content marketing is giving value to your targeted audiences – what they like, desire or need – and you get rewarded by Google for doing so.

But how can you tell if your content is attuned to your targeted audiences’ needs, lifestyle focus and buying motivations?

This is where Marketing Personas come in and take centre stage.

It’s a great marketing tool that sadly, many businesses toss out casually without even really understanding the concepts behind it.

I realised such realities during my private business consultancy sessions with clients. I get the same feedback during the free masterclass sessions I conduct regularly, helping struggling businesses transform into profit-generating machines.     

Also termed Buyer Personas, Marketing Personas is a concept that goes beyond merely categorizing targeted audiences according to demographic information. Taking an in-depth look at this marketing concept means filling in your targeted audiences’ shoes and looking at your marketing strategies from their perspective.

 

Marketing Personas and Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Attracting the right kind of people would definitely do wonders for your business.

It’s what all your marketing efforts are trying to do anyway, right?

But what makes your business attractive to these targeted sets of people?

Identifying and understanding the motivation of these groups of people – your ideal business consumers – is what creating marketing personas is all about.

A marketing persona is like creating a fictional character that represents your ideal customer. It could also be multiple characters representing each ideal client types your business has the potential of attracting.

Creating such marketing personas means you have clearly identified what, how and why a particular type of consumer will like and avail of your products or services.  

Developing marketing personas means understanding their existing knowledge about your business. It means knowing the reasons why they would be interested. It identifies their expectations, key touch points and other concerns that will motivate or prevent them from getting your business.

A well-crafted persona can boost your marketing efforts, resulting in higher prospect conversions and of course, higher sales. You can customise your marketing campaigns, provide personalised branding, and create marketing materials that are tailor-fitted to ideal targeted customers.

 

Insights that Influence Consumer Behaviour

Understanding the various aspects that influence the consumption behaviour of your targeted consumers will help create good marketing personas. These attributes can be grouped into the following:  

 

Priority Initiatives

This insight will help you understand the personal reasons and circumstances that make targeted audiences spend time and resources to consume your content


Success Factors

These make you understand the expectations and perceived benefits targeted audiences are looking forward to when they consume your content

 

Perceived Barriers

This will help you understand the barriers, incapacities, misconceptions and potential hindrances that make audiences lose interest in your content

 

Buyer’s Journey

This identifies where your targeted audiences are in the buying process. Knowing this, you can create more appropriate content that will influence them to take the next favourable step.


Decision Criteria

Knowing what your targeted audiences perceive as important from certain aspects in your content will make it stand out from other content providers.

 

General Classifications of Buyer Personas

From the humungous diversity of business niches, a sheer number of Marketing Personas and customer profiles can be generated. It can be very confusing even if you put all your efforts on it.

Trying to create all Marketing Personas you can think of can actually be detrimental to your marketing campaign. You may lack focus and lose precise targeting on audiences and prospects that really matter.

You can simplify the process and categorise Marketing Personas according to the following classification types:

Competitive

These are audiences that know exactly what their goals and needs are. They would need not much coaxing and convincing once they see the content they want.

 

Spontaneous

Audiences like these respond quickly to content that makes use of visual elements. They are also attracted to advice or reviews by experts or influential people. These drive their emotions and influence their consumer decisions.

Humanist

These audiences rely more on the advice, reviews and recommendations of other consumers before making a consumer decision. These are the types of audiences where relationships with the content provider will matter heavily in their consumption behaviour.  

 

Methodical  

If you rely on special offers and promos to entice your audiences, this persona is not for you. These consumers take time to study and weigh things logically and methodically. They do a lot of research first before they make a consumer decision.


This ends the first part of our in-depth guide to understanding and creating marketing personas for your business.


The second part will discuss in greater detail the steps necessary when creating a marketing persona. You will understand how you can source out information to create customer profiles. You will also learn about the steps required for creating and filling up a marketing persona template.  


So, stay tuned and come back for more insights on Marketing Personas.