How to Create and Benefit from Customer Personas
Hey there! I’m here today to provide you with actionable insights that can be used to build and enhance your digital marketing strategy by explaining how to create and use customer personas. By definition, a customer persona is a fictitious model of an ideal customer. It generally includes demographics (age, gender, location, and occupation) as well as psychographics (motivations, likes, dislikes, and pain points). Creating customer personas of your ideal customer(s) is an essential strategy that will allow you to personalize the user experience, which will attract high-value customers who are easier to retain. Understanding your customer’s persona will enable you to communicate more effectively with your client base and tailor your content to meet their specific needs. This, in turn, will contribute to your overall success.
What Are Customer Personas Used For?
Customer Personas are used to customize the user and brand experience in a personalized manner. To personalize the user’s experience, marketers leverage the data collected on their persona’s background and predilections. This data is then used to adjust content copy, user flows, and marketing campaigns to personalize the users experience to best fit their preferences.
As busy business owners and marketers, we know how tempting it can be to treat all customers as if they all have the same preferences. Often times, we are busy and feel that it is best to post a generic photo online instead of a more customized one to meet the needs of our target market. Or maybe you lack the technical ability to do so. But it is essential to find the behaviors and patterns of our customers that allow us to improve the relevance of our communications to our customers to, in turn, enhance their user experience.
Why It's Important to Develop Customer Personas
So why is It important to develop customer personas? It’s important to create customer personas because every age group has different habits for how they use and consume digital media. Millennials and Generation Z are more inclined to consume information instantly and more frequently on digital media than baby boomers are. Therefore, it’s naïve to assume that a marketing strategy that works for millennials will also work for generation X or baby boomers. Of course, it’s also naïve to assume that each age group has the same habits because, of course, they don’t. Within each age group, there are several sub-groups that have different preferences, habits, patterns, and motivations. So, it’s your job to create personas for each group and sub-group to create your ideal customer in each category so you can create marketing strategies to target each group to the best of your ability.
Brand awareness, preference, and purchase intention are all built from the consistency in which the customer is reached by a company through various touchpoints. Interaction between a company and its customers can occur in many ways; Whether it be a social media post, a digital ad, a television commercial, or a chat with a company employee, these touchpoints and the consistency of communication are the difference between a customer purchasing or not purchasing from you. These communications leave lasting impressions on consumers and are often the deciding factor that makes a difference in the consumer purchase process because touchpoint communication builds brand awareness and trust. Your customer persona(s) will allow you to determine the best platforms to utilize for communicating with your target customers. Once you determine the best way to reach your ideal customers, you can start generating and optimizing touchpoints on those platforms. This will create engagement that allows your brand to be seen by your ideal customers and ideal prospective customers in a way that is most favorable to them. Touchpoints are used to create opportunities for your customers to choose your brand over your competitors. Therefore, if you don’t have your touchpoints on the right platform, then you will miss out on many purchase opportunities and lower your chances of securing new customers.
When a customer lacks communication from your company, due to consistency, coherence, or relevance, they begin to disassociate and seek alternative options; this is when they fall out of your sales funnel.
How to Create A Customer/Buyer Persona
Buyer personas are created through research, surveys, and interviews. Information should be collected from potential customers, current customers, users in your contact database, and people who are not in your database who could potentially align with your ideal customer.
Some ideas for gathering pertinent information to create your customer personas include:
- Search your database of contacts to determine potential trends that lead to your ideal target market obtaining your content.
- Utilize landing pages and website forms to capture relevant information for your personas.
- Gather feedback from current customers and potential customers about what they think your company does best for its customers and why. What do they like best about your company and products? This will help you to determine what your customers think is your strong suit.
Now that you have obtained a good amount of information, you can further depict commonalities and patterns to develop a customer persona. There are many free templates on the internet to help you organize your data throughout this process. One of my favorite templates is offered by HubSpot.
After creating your customer persona using the information gathered through research and other methods, you will have a better understanding of your ideal customer’s journey. Therefore, you will have more knowledge to tailor your content and communications toward meeting their needs and personalizing their experience. This will help you to increase customer loyalty, enhance your reach, increase sales and conversions, and overall succeed.
Customer personas provide significant value and insight for your company and assist with product development and will help you to acquire new customers and strengthen your relationship with your current customers. They give business owners and marketers the ability to reach their target market, customers, and ideal prospective customers with the right content/information, at the right time, with the correct information. This keeps your company relevant and in the minds of the customers most willing and able to purchase from you.