Creating marketing or customer personas is an important step in understanding more about your customers and their needs. Essentially, creating personas keeps your customers needs and wants centre stage in your marketing and business strategy.
Personas are the foundation on which to build your marketing plan. We will help you to understand what a marketing persona is, why they are so important and even how to create and develop your own.
What is a marketing persona?
‘A marketing persona is a composite sketch of a key segment of your audience’ Ardath Albee
Marketing personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers. A company can identify their buyer personas through their own data and research. This would involve looking into the shopping habits of your customers, their job, location, age and demographic and therefore what their interest or need in your product or services may be. Essentially, marketing personas are there for you to identify your common user needs so that you know who to target with your e marketing activities. Persona mapping also allows you to see and understand what your customer pain points are and clearly illustrate, through your marketing messaging, where your product or service meets their needs.
Similarly to this, it is also possible to create negative personas. This allows you to understand the type of consumers that you do not want to target. You can then make sure that your marketing does not reach out to people who would be uninterested in, or have no use for, your product.
Why are marketing personas so important?
Ultimately, as a business owner you want to make sure that people buy your products or services. This means that when you are promoting what you offer, you are targeting your efforts at those people who actually need your product or service, with the hope that they will be more actively engaged. It would be redundant to put time and money into getting the attention of people who will never buy from you. Therefore, it is crucial to put your efforts into understanding who WILL be interested in your products and services (and the reasons why) and how you can reach as many of these customers as possible.
Identifying who you need to target in your marketing and advertising will help you tailor your content and messaging across all marketing platforms, saving you money and increasing ROI.
Tailoring your content, your tone and your message to people to whom it will appeal will help a business to cater to the specific needs of its customers. Not only will you engage with potentially interested buyers, but you will appear to be offering them a more personalised experience.
How to create and develop successful personas
Firstly, when beginning your research it is important to bear in mind that your personas should not reflect individuals, but a type with similar characteristics. Multiple personas can reflect and represent your marketing group.
Secondly, your personas should be focused on your internal customer data, market research, competitor analysis and studying general customer shopping patterns. Make sure that you engage with your front-line staff, sales teams and customer insight teams to gain their knowledge of your customers and their buying habits. This information can of course be gained through surveys, interviews and so on. This is something we do every time we create personas at Marketing Harmony. We work with our clients to brainstorm key characteristics about their current customers and start to look at the ‘issues/needs’ that link them. This link becomes the basis of our marketing approach.
Finally, it is important to start small and develop. You may find it overwhelming to do all of your personas at the same time, perhaps start with the most obvious ones, prioritise based on income generated or strategic focus. You could start with one or two, test them to make sure they are an accurate representation of your customer base and work upwards from there.
So there you have it! Hopefully you now have a good understanding of what marketing personas are and how they can benefit your business.
If you are still feeling unsure about the process of creating your own, don’t be afraid to use templates that can be found online. There are loads of great resources out there! Here are some links to some of our favourites:
Personapp allows you to create and share quick and lightweight personas.
HubSpot is a really useful tool with lots of resources designed at helping grow business. Here is a link to their free persona template.
And last but not least, don’t forget that here at Marketing Harmony we are able to help you create your personas. Why not get in touch to discuss a business and marketing strategy workshop to help your business focus on the right things for the coming year.