What’s Customer Persona and How Do You Use in Marketing?
A customer persona is an archetype of a large segment of your public. Therefore, customer persona marketing is a way to sell directly to a homogenous group of your audience. A persona is a marketing tool that allows us to have a clearer understanding of who we are talking to when preparing marketing materials. Typically, we define a singular person as our ideal audience. Then extrapolate information about their desires, motivation, and past. They are often described in terms of demographic and psychographic information.
Here are some of the benefits of customer persona marketing:
- It allows brands to recognize critical traits of their audience.
- Sellers have a more in-depth knowledge of their base.
- Through this knowledge, brands can cater to buyers’ differing personalities. This practice opposes wasting precious time and resources in strategies that won’t work.
Customer Persona Marketing Vs. Market Segmentation
This whole thing might sound like good, old-fashioned segmentalization. While related, we could say customer persona marketing is the evolution of segmentalization. Geoffrey Moore from Udacity gives a great explanation on how to not to muddy the water between personas and market segmentation.
What is the difference between Persona Marketing and Market Segmentation?
- Customer persona marketing depends on psychology. Factors like age, gender, and social status are what segmentalization stands on. Customer personas, on the other hand, delves more into why buyers behave the way they do.
- Buyer profiles come from real people. Instead of running the numbers on a particular demographic, these come from patterns of real-life shoppers. This way, it’s much easier to create content based on the wants and needs of actual customers.
- Segmentalization is only the starting point. Recognizing you have heterogeneous groups is the first step towards catering to them. A customer persona has already identified the personality traits of more homogeneous groups.
What Customer Persona Buyer Profile Should Look Like
Here are a few key elements a buyer persona should have:
- Background. The background can include demographics of different sorts, such as age and gender. Talk to your usual customers and find out what their professions are, as there may be connecting factors. The more information you have, the better!
- Goals. What short and long-term goals does this particular group have? This knowledge can be essential when it comes to customer persona marketing, as it points you towards the aspirational.
- Values. Knowing what’s important for your customers regarding values is essential to speak to them in their terms.
- Challenges. What are the issues in their everyday lives? You should be looking into ways to match up the product and voice to the specific needs and challenges of your customers.
Where to Find the Right Data for Creating Customer Personas
Building personas from real data based on current customers, surveys, analytics, and social media is a great place to start. It is important to profile several individuals who fit your brand while keeping mind people are different. The goal is to find the similarities in a group of people who best fit the brand.
- Social media. Social networks are the most obvious place to find information about your potential buyers and current customers.
- Keyword research. While keyword research is usually only paired with Search Engine Optimization, it can also help brands get to know their customers. By noticing how visitors look for what you offer, you can find out how to market for them. Are they looking for your product name + shipping? They could value fast shipping over other factors like price or entertainment.
- Facebook Insights. This tool will allow you to see which content users are responding the most to and how. Knowing what kind of posts and ads generate engagement is an excellent mark to follow. Facebook carries a lot of information about users’ data, so it’s also an excellent place to cross-reference with demographics.
- Old-fashioned feedback. You can organize focus groups, interviews or surveys, asking customers about their experiences with your brand.
Negative Personas & How to Use Them
It’s a good practice to create an antithesis of the ideal buyer’s persona. A negative persona can help you create a profile of the kind of buyer you don’t want to have. These can be customers with unrealistic expectations or with a high rate of shopping cart abandonment.
Knowing the kind of buyers you don’t want is a good way of better targeting the ones you do want. This way, you won’t waste precious marketing resources.
With so much online competition in every single industry, you need to connect with your visitors in a personal way. For this, as a brand, you need to develop empathy and put yourself into customers’ shoes.
- Speak like your buyers. Don’t use too many technical terms and marketing jargon when you’re speaking to your customers.
- Create an empathy map. This map can help you to always keep the customer’s thought process in mind, steering away from the vice of making things up about them. This map can include obstacles through the customer journey, pain, and gain.
So, You Have a Customer Persona – Now, What?
You’re most likely already using segmentalization to get your brand to the right people. However, there’s an even better way to deliver the best possible content to new and returning customers. Through customer persona marketing, you’ll be able to get the pulse of consumers. It’s a win-win for you as a brand and for them as customers!
Now that you know who’s buying from you, here’s what you can do with your new customer personas:
- Target the places where your buyers are. If the research found that your customers spend most of their time in social media, make sure to create enticing posts there. If they tend to read a particular newspaper, buy ads there. Knowing where your customers are will give you a hint on where you should have a presence.
- Speak as they do. If your customers are serious executive types, it’s best to keep the language relatively formal and emoji-free. It’s entirely different if you’re targeting a hipper crowd. The important thing is to know who you’re dealing with and speak their language.
- Create enticing content specifically for them. Now that you’ve mapped the kind of thing your customers are into, it’s time to build content they find interesting. Blog about the topics they’re interested in, and add this insight to other copy, like newsletters.
- Partner with exciting companies and influencers. You understand what makes your visitors tick and what and who they’re into, so it’s great to use that information to your advantage. Think of how Netflix famously used big data to create their first flagship show, House of Cards.
Bright Vessel specializes in every stage of digital marketing, providing personalized solutions. Every company, big or small, can benefit significantly from a strong multichannel presence, from social media to a great website. Contact us for more information!