How well do you know your buyers? One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is not developing a deep enough understanding of their customers’ needs and wants. That means they make assumptions about how to market to their target audience—assumptions that may be completely wrong. That’s why creating a Customer Persona is vital for every business.
What is a Customer Persona?
A Customer Persona is a description of the characteristics of your ideal customer that helps you determine how best to approach marketing to them. If you don’t know who you’re selling to, you’re probably not creating the right type of ads or using the most effective sales tactics. Understanding your ideal customer is key to a high conversion rate.
What is the purpose of a Customer Persona?
The primary purpose of creating Customer Personas is to have a clear picture of who you’re marketing to. Without a Customer Persona, you can’t predict the efficiency and success of your marketing messaging and offerings. That’s why Customer Personas are based on real customers and extensive research. Customer Personas can help everyone on your team by:
- Clearly communicating your customers’ top-of-mind problem and the best-fit solution for that problem;
- Guiding product development by creating features that help to achieve desired goals; and
- Understanding how to prioritize time and money for campaigns, projects and initiatives.
When you market to the right audience in the right way, you experience much higher conversion rates.
What about negative Customer Personas?
Once a positive persona has been created, you may also want to build a negative one. Why? To identify the kind of person who is not a good fit for your business. As a result, you’ll avoid wasting resources on customers you don’t want anyway.
The typical characteristics of a negative Customer Persona are people who abandon purchases, are unrealistic in their expectations or harmful to your overall brand reputation. Recognizing these types of negative customers helps marketers hone their communication and marketing messages to target just the desired target audience.
How do you build Customer Personas?
So, how do you create the best persona for your customers? To develop a Customer Persona that actually helps improve your marketing, you’ll need to gather research from multiple sources. And you should follow up often on that research to ensure it remains timely. We’ve put together five useful tips for creating effective Customer Personas:
- Analyze your customer base
First, conduct research on your existing customers. When you analyze your customer base, your main task is to dig deeper into who your average customer is.
Ask your sales and marketing team to tell you what they know about your existing customers, their demographics and their needs. Are the majority of them large business corporations, small organizations or individuals? Parents? Or millenials? What is their geographic location? Do they interact on social media? Analyze everything about the customer that affects your business.
- Social media research
Know where your target audience is on social media. Then use social media listening to find your prospective customers by asking questions and showcasing problems your product solves. The people that interact are your target audience.
- Ask your audience questions
Interviews and surveys are a useful tool for building Customer Personas. Create a survey asking your customers why they buy your product. You don’t always know how people use your product, so they might see something you don’t. Ask them what keeps them coming back, and focus on your strengths.
You can also follow up with former customers to ask why they left. Their reasons may expose weaknesses in your product and inform further development. Or you may simply pinpoint additional characteristics you don’t want.
Reviews are one of the best options to reveal deep insight into your customers, as you can understand their goals, needs and pain points. To build an effective Customer Persona, the reviews should be based on interviews with customers, salespeople and customer service.
- Create multiple personas
You can have more than one Customer Persona, because you may want to market your product to different types of people. Multiple Customer Personas allows you to specifically target part of your audience when you write a new blog post, sales page, email or even create a new product. Two to five Customer Personas is the best approach to finding a wide range of potential buyers.
- Analyze over time
Nothing stays the same, especially not companies, products or customers. So revisit your Customer Persona often to make sure you’re capturing all the relevant information you need to make informed marketing decisions.
What should you include in your Customer Marketing Template?
A Customer Marketing Template can help you gather the necessary data to create the most informative Customer Persona possible. Here are a few key pieces you should include in your template.
- Persona Name
- Job title
- Information about the company they work for, including type, size, age, etc.
- Information about their role there
- Challenges and Goals
- Primary goal
- Secondary goal
- How you can help them achieve both goals
- Values and Fears
- Fundamental values
- Common objections during the sales process
- Your Marketing message
Building an effective Customer Persona requires research, work and development. But you’ll end up with greater customer satisfaction, higher ROI, a lower customer acquisition cost and less turnover. So take the first steps to creating your own Customer Personas today!