In marketing, you need to identify the core demographic to whom you want to steer your message, but it can be costly and time-consuming to go too deep with different demographic profiles to determine your ideal customers. It is a better use of time and many to create targeted profiles of who your customers are, which can be changed as time goes on and your customers evolve. An ideal demographics that you’re aiming to reach is known as a customer persona, and coming up with a persona can make your marketing efforts easier and more effective by targeting your message at a particular consumer who needs your product or service.
What is a customer persona?
A customer persona, also known as a marketing persona, is a profile that is created to represent different end users, with the ultimate goal of being able to create a particular piece of content that is tailored to reach a specific reader. Creating customer personas help a marketer to direct the development of their products or marketing content to the desired audience for whom the product or message will be the most effective. Multiple personas can be created to help cover the bases of different types of potential end-users. Building three to five personas is often thought of an ideal number because it is enough persons to cover a large swath of your target audience, but it’s a small enough number that it is still manageable to maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns when you direct them to your customer personas.
How to create detailed marketing personas
Building marketing personas can differ depending on whether you’re in a B2C business or you’re looking for B2B relationships. When building a consumer-focused persona, it is best to think about who most wants what you’re offering. You want to think about areas such as their age, location, and position. Moreover, to make your personas even more realistic, you may choose to give them names, so you know that your Kevin persona, for example, represents one target audience while your Jill represents another demographic to which you want to tailor your marketing efforts.
Building personas for businesses is more involved than it is on the consumer side. There are often multiple people, or an entire team, involved in purchasing decisions for businesses. Because of that, you need to personalize your persona based on the businesses that are most interested in what you are offering. If you’re dealing with a large Fortune 500 company, there are likely multiple people — and personalities — involved in the purchasing process, whereas that is likely not as often the case if you’re targeting small businesses or startups. Factors to consider include the number of employees your target firms have, as well as their revenue and whether the companies are growing or stabilized.
Once those questions are answered, you can move on to developing other parts of the persona, including determining why the business wants to buy your product or service and what their buying process entails. After you have all of that information, you can begin working on ways to get your brand in front of them, whether it’s a social media site like Facebook or other forms of media like blogs or podcasts.
How to identify your core offering
When you know whom you are targeting with your personas, the next aspect of your marketing you want to focus on is figuring out what your core offering is. When determining your core offering, you want to dig deeper than just what product or service you offer your customers. You also what to figure out what the pain points your customers experience that your core offering will resolve, as well as what makes your offering unique from your competitors in the marketplace. You should know what your unique value proposition is so you can tie that into your content. Knowing all of that helps you to focus your marketing materials around what problems you want to solve for your customers and how you’ll go about doing it.
How to fill in the gaps with research
Now that you know your core offering and whom you’re marketing to, you can turn your attention to the research phase of your marketing efforts. It is in this part of the process that you can turn your created personas into cheat sheets backed by quantifiable and qualitative data. Your research can include utilizing such resources as your email list or customer database or your social media pages through which customers engage with you. You can find out information about where they live and, through social media, what they’re saying about your offerings and their interactions with your brand.
However, the best way to conduct your research is by actually talking to your customers to see what they liked and disliked about their interactions with you and your products or services. See if they recommend any changes you can make or things you should continue doing the way you have been. If you don’t have your customers yet, you can try to reach out to people who have a history with your competitors to try to use those experiences to help form your marketing in a startup environment.
You will also want to look beyond your brand in the research phase and take a look at your competitors and your industry as a whole. Take a look at reports and published studies to get an idea of your industry and use the information you gather to help perfect the content that you are sending out in your marketing.
Because creating personas and determining your core offering are vital parts of your marketing efforts, you shouldn’t go it alone when you’re walking through those processes. Here at Highpurple, we are experienced marketers who can help you craft your messages to your intended audiences to maximize your marketing budget. So be sure to contact us for more information about our services and to find out how you can get a free audit.