In-Depth Guide to Marketing Personas – Part 2
The first part of this guide to Marketing Personas talked about how this tool can serve as virtual representations of your ideal customer. They were created after an intensive study of who your ideal customers really are, their likes, challenges, and decision-making influences.
It’s quite a common thing to use multiple Marketing Personas for your strategy. You can create a particular persona for each person in your client’s approval or decision loop. Each of these personas may have different evaluation criteria employed. It would be best to approach each of them from different strategies.
Whatever your overall marketing strategy would entail, it is critical to create a well-researched and accurate Marketing Persona. Doing so, you can have a better understanding and empathy towards your clients, thus creating more meaningful marketing strategies that cater to them.
So, without further ado, let’s continue with our in-depth guide and learn how to create Marketing Personas.
Creating the Marketing Persona
When creating Marketing Personas, it would be best to be as detailed and thorough as possible. Why is there a need to do so? There are basically two main reasons for this:
To Get Marketers into Character
There is a need for specificity if you really need to get into character. You’ll have a genuine and clearer understanding of what’s inside your client’s head – their thoughts, feelings, and buying behaviours.
To Detect Hidden Opportunities
Diving deeper into relevant information about your customers will give you a better window to discover previously undetected opportunities. You can intersect the features and benefits of your products or services to factors customers deemed important in their lives. These are very valuable insights that may prove very useful once uncovered.
The process of creating Marketing Personas can be broken down into two important steps – gathering information and filling out the details. These are described in details as follows:
1) Source for Information
The effectiveness of Marketing Personas relies heavily on how accurate your information is about your customers. So, how do you source out and get this information? There are practically a myriad ways for you to execute this – from website statistics to actual conversations or direct face-to-face interactions with actual clients. The wider the net you cast out in your data gathering tasks, the better and more accurate information you get. The following describes some of these sources for your use:
Your site’s analytics is a great source of insights that will tell you more about client behaviour. You will know where they came from, the keywords used, the time spent on your site, and other pertinent information. These insights will tell you what desires your clients have to prompt them to perform a search.
It’s a Team Effort
Everyone in your organisation, regardless of department, who had direct interactions with your customers should participate in the profiling tasks. In their interactions, they would have gained insights of what makes customers tick and behave the way they are. These insights would be helpful in creating your Marketing Persona templates.
Formal market research can be conducted to allow you to dig deeper into your client’s concerns, problems, and desires. A wide variety of tools are available at your disposal, including surveys, feedback polls, and one-to-one interviews. This exercise might be time-consuming, but the insights gained can prove highly valuable.
Social Media Research
You can make use of social media to conduct your research and information gathering about your clients. The information and insights you gain can be priceless. A wide variety of tools are available such as online polls, feedback forms, and social media listening.
Performing a Google search of your business, products or services can give you valuable insights and information as well. Search results may come up with reviews and commentaries about your business, whether negative or positive.
These will give you an overview of what your customers think about your products or services. There is a possibility that some of these commentaries, particularly the negative ones, are ploys perpetuated by competitors. Despite these, there are truly legitimate ones that may prove valuable to your research work.
Forums and Online Communities
It would be best to join industry forums relevant to your line of business. You can gain valuable insights from the discussions and commentaries there. The topic may or may not be specific to your brand, product or service, but it may involve something similar to what you have.
Ask Your Clients Directly
Nothing can beat talking to clients directly via face-to-face interviews or interactions, in gaining insights on what makes them tick. You can do this through a formal interview, using previously formulated sets of questions. Or, you can have informal meetings with clients over lunch or coffee. You’ll wonder and be delighted as to the amount of information and insights you can dig up from these interactions.
2) Fill in the Details
After getting the information you need about your clients, the next step is fill-in the details of your Marketing Person form or template. The following is a step-by-step example which you can, of course, modify according to the uniqueness of your clients:
Create a Name for Your Marketing Persona
Since the Marketing Persona, you’re creating is a representation of a real customer, it would be best to assign a real name to your persona as well. It makes your Marketing Persona feel like it’s a real, live person.
Establish Your Persona’s Job Title, Role and Company Details
When conducting surveys, either conducted through full-blown market surveys or online. Include the most important fields that you deemed valuable for your profiling work. This can include job titles and functions, company details like sizes and types of business, and other information you deemed necessary.
Determine Demographic Information
Pertinent demographic information can be derived from your website analytics or through insights from customer surveys. You can generate a wide variety of information including personal details, affinity, online behaviours, and other information.
Goals, Values, Challenges, and Fears
You can gain valuable insights from knowing the most important items about your customers. These include items that make them feel good like their goals, aspirations and values. Or, it can also include concerns like their challenges and fears – what makes them determined to succeed. These can be obtained through personal interviews, surveys and other interactions.
Your Marketing Message
Once you gain insight on information that is very relevant and important to customers, you can now design your attention-getting marketing message or your elevator pitch. This is where you identify their current needs and challenges, which you can resolve through your products or services.
It is very important that you put in extra effort in creating your marketing message. First impressions last and if you fail to get their attention through your elevator pitch, half of the battle is already lost. Once set, you can deliver a consistent message that spearheads your marketing efforts.
A buyer persona is a virtual representation of your ideal customer. Creating one can help you gain a better understanding of your client. This will help you connect with them at an even deeper and more personal level – eventually moving towards your end goal of making a profit.
At this point, what I provided is just a guide and not sacrosanct when it comes to creating Marketing Personas. Just like the free masterclass and the free eBook I share, this guide provides a good starting point.
Using this, you can develop your own set of Marketing Personas that would work well within your business niche and target market.
Developing accurate and effective Marketing Personas will put a face on who your specific targeted customers are. This allows you to deliver the right kind of strategy to target audiences that matter – faster, more focused, and more effective in getting better marketing results.