Does My Business Need a Marketing Persona?
Running a small business demands that we know who uses our products or services and what drives a purchase. Yet, many businesses, big and small lean on basic demographic information to make these decisions. To begin to build a more targeted and effective marketing plan, you need to know more than demographics about your best customers. Building a customer persona takes some time and know-how but can help to clarify messaging, select digital marketing platforms, better target ad campaigns, and provide content ideas that generate more leads and sales. Creating buyer personas, and continually using them to guide your business, can help keep you centered on the needs of your customers.
Why Do I Need A Marketing Persona?
People are complex. But as marketers, we like to put people into categories or boxes. We segment our customer base by gender, age, interests, and income bracket. Basic stats are helpful but give us very little insight into why our customers buy from us in the first place. Our daily interactions with customers tell us that demographic information is not a true depiction of the many and varied reasons why our customers work with us. How do we bridge the gap between data and our complex customers? The Marketing Persona.
So why don’t more businesses take the time to develop customer personas? Companies choose a model of “typical customers’ psychology”, which can be helpful but often misses customer nuance that can provide tremendous insight.
Personas guide us to real potential customers. They go beyond the data and show us who our best customers will be. When we take time to really examine who our best customers are, we learn so much more that can inform our sales, marketing, and customer service operations, all while generating leads and sales.
Developing personas is part science and part art. It takes the ability to accurately read data as well as dig into customer stories and personal experiences to accurately capture a marketing persona that will launch marketing plans that better connect with the intended audience. When done well, the resulting documents can provide an added depth and understanding that is transformative.
The research and interviewing process can take time. While there are a variety of apps and website tools available these days, the tools often don’t allow for the level of nuance and detail that can take a persona from being a document that is viewed once and then forgotten, to an asset that an entire marketing strategy is built upon. The time and work it takes to build great personas pay off through the effective use of marketing dollars and more leads and sales.
How Does Motto Marketing Build Personas?
When building customer personas, we start with basic business data. Using Insights and Analytics from social, web, and CRM accounts, we look for patterns and build demographic profiles of the average client. Patterns in the data will begin to appear. This data acts as a base that we use to launch the next phase.
Next, we look at past online reviews, social media comments, as well as customer service data. It helps us to understand a little more about the psychology of a satisfied customer. What was it about your product or solution that drew them in? What made their experience special? How did your product or service improve their lives?
Then, we interview sales staff, customer service staff, and business management. Detailed first-hand stories show additional motivations and experiences of the client. Personal stories from staff about past clients help to uncover unique personality traits and reveal the buyer’s journey. Surveys and focus groups of the customer base also help to give an accurate picture of personalities and buying attributes. All this information is then aggregated to build a fictional version of an ideal customer.
The result is a document that gives a full picture of a (fictional) person with real-life complexities and stressors. It is a combination of detailed demographic information, psychological traits like personality type, hobbies, and digital fluency as well as their goals and motivation and potential roadblocks in the buying process.
Imagine knowing what motivates your customers. What they love best about your business. Your marketing strategy would look a lot different; a good marketing persona may be the thing you need to unlock your business’s potential. Read more about marketing personas here, I Have Marketing Personas, Now What? and Why Do Marketing Personas Really Work? Or contact Motto Marketing to begin building marketing personas for your business today.