The success and on-going health of your business depends on engaging existing customers and driving repeat business, as well as understanding your ideal target when it comes to attracting new business. Having a keen understanding of your audience should be a fundamental part of your growth strategy.
Many businesses make the mistake of assuming they know all there is to know about their audience, but audience personas are a fantastic way for you to achieve an even deeper understanding of the people using your services. With the rise of digital and content marketing and the growing importance of successful engagement – the exercise of persona development can benefit all brands, old and new. It will help to pinpoint the ideal customer-type for your business and how best to attract them with targeted content that is valuable, relevant and engaging. And even more importantly, it could save you a completely wrong strategic approach and a bucket load of unnecessary spend.
What should a Customer Persona consider?
There is no set template for an audience persona, but you may want to consider the following:
- Name, Job Title, Company Name and Business Sector
- Size of company by employees and turnover?
- What is their product/service offering?
- What are the Individual’s demographics?
- What content do they consume and when?
- What are their responsibilities in their role?
- How is their job measured?
- Who do they report to?
- Who reports to them?
- How did they find us?
- What services do they use us for?
- Why did they choose us as their supplier?
- What key business tools do they use?
- What are their digital habits?
- How do they pay?
- What are their business goals?
- What are their business challenges?
- What is their annual budget?
- How much of that budget do they spend with us?
Personas are compiled by collecting a mixture of raw data and combining said data and educated guesses relating to customers. There are two main methods that you can use to gather this information. But before you start anything, you need to gain consent from the customers that you are planning to research further. They must consent to taking part for the purpose of your company marketing and be happy about how you intend to use their data. Most businesses will offer an incentive for taking part to show how their time is appreciated.
The first method you can use to gather information is colleague collaboration and referring to existing resources to see what already know about your contact. Collectively, you can build a better picture and may already have a lot of information to hand in your CRM and sales data. You can also look at how that contact has been engaging with your content – and what seems to interest them.
The second method is to conduct surveys or interviews with selected customers (with their consent to your data privacy notice). If you start with five and aim to add to your persona portfolio over time, you will start to discover trends and patterns in responses – which will enable you to fine tune your service offering to a specific and ideal customer.
Once you’ve collected your data, you should display it in a generic format that allows you to view each client or customer type and compare them with ease.
How will this enrich my marketing strategy?
As you identify trends and commonalities between your personas and have clearly identified your different audience ‘types’ you can craft your marketing content to the needs of these types with the aim of engaging them further and more positively with your brand. You can apply these new-found audience insights to all your marketing efforts and hopefully you will see engagement increase – which will inevitably lead to better brand perceptions, a higher level of brand recall and ultimately – conversions.