With consumers becoming more demanding than ever, they know what they want, when they want it and they want it now. Unless you tap into their needs, wants and desires, your online marketing campaign, including your website, could fall flat on its face.
One way of tapping in specifically to who your market audience are, is to create semi-fictional characters, or personas, who represent your audience. These personas encompass the various needs, goals and observed behaviour pattern among your real and potential customers. Using these can make websites 2-5 times more effective, so this process is worth the time and effort spent. Click through rate can increase by 14% and conversion rates by 10%.
Analyse your data
However it isn’t as simple as taking a wild stab in the dark. You need to use a range of data to find out ‘who’ these people are, for example, analysing and researching past customer data, social media and Google analytics would be good places to start. If you’re looking to go all-in, surveys and interviews are often the most helpful approach as they can often produce answers you never considered.
You can see if the majority of your audience are men or women, the age categories they fit into, location, whether they are loyal and make repeat purchases or just go to the lowest bidder, etc, all incredibly helpful information when building your marketing strategy.
Constructing your Persona
Once you have gathered your data and defined your goal, you will need to segment your data and construct a profile. Your profile will be a hypothetical customer including behaviour, lifestyle, demographic and product use or gaps.
Creating a total of five personas is recommended, this number is big enough to cover the majority of your customers yet small enough to carry the value of specificity.
Many profiles include basic information such as:
- Job title
- Details about their role
- Goals and challenges - How the products can solve these problems
- Values and fears - Common objections during the sales process
Much of this information will be assumed, for example, based on age you can assume the standard family situation – single, young family, mature family, etc. From here you can then go on to guesstimate throw-away income, whether they can afford to go away, spend money on luxurious items, you can go into as much detail you like. The more information you ‘gather’ will help you get into the mind-set of the customer, so the more, the better.
Personas can vary from business to business, industry to industry, with this in mind you may want to include information about their:
- Quotes from real customers
- Computer literacy
- Where they read the news
- Blogs they read
Very easily a story will begin to form allowing you to see niche advertising channels your competitors may have not yet seen.
Although a lot of the categories may not seem specifically important, these specific elements are a good way to start thinking as if you are this character. You can imagine yourself struggling with a buggy while taking an elder child to sports practice, or wanting to buy the biggest TV to host football matches with your friends. It can also help find previously undetected opportunities for your product. You can empathise with their problems and celebrate the things they enjoy – how can your product or service help ease their stresses or help become a needed luxury?
This is especially helpful with marketing strategies, are they the kind of person who will read lots of information to better their career or do they need quick snippets of information in bullet points so they can leave early to hit the pub?
The goal here is to have psychological detail to allow you to see the personas view point. How does he or she struggle with the product, what features would help, what are the benefits of the product? Consider common objections during the sales process, what might stop them from following through? Once uncovered, these are very valuable insights.
You will create a better experience for your customer and a more engaging marketing strategy. By engaging with your target audience more you will maximise your revenue, decrease marketing spending as this will be far more targeting and increase repeat business. A win-win for you and your customer.
Below are some example persona's: