4 Steps To Discovering Your Customer Persona
We all agree that customers are important, but do we really know that much about them and what they actually want? Discovering and knowing your customer persona will help you connect with your customer and meet their every need.
Think of the brands that you frequently engage with; it’s probably because they give you something that you want right? I’ll bet that many of their customers have a lot in common with you and they know it. They probably have a pretty good understanding of who their customers are (e.g. YOU!) and how to find them. The process of uncovering Customer Personas involves taking customer information such as needs, wants, obstacles, lifestyle and goals and identifying a recurring pattern in your clients. You then start to notice one or multiple emerging ‘personas’ that frequently purchase from you. You may be able to do this with existing data, or you may have to do a bit of research.
The whole idea of this process is to get you to the point where you know exactly who your next prospect is, what they need, how to convert, retain and attract more like them.
WHO IS YOUR CUSTOMER?
A customer persona is not a target market. “Target market” tends to define a range of demographics. We want to be more specific than that.
It is the particular identity of a client that is most valuable to your business. You want to be able to describe the Name, Age and Gender of your ideal customer as well as their lifestyle and even their personality. This information becomes a powerful tool. When you create a brand experience for a specific person, your marketing efforts will produce dramatic results.
You can develop your customer persona through research, surveys, and interviews with your target audience. Both existing and prospective – along with others who might share similar interests as your primary audience.
Let’s break it down with our Four Foxy Steps for Putting Together the Perfect Persona:
Interview customers — and potential customers — either in person or over the phone, to discover what they like about your product or service. You may need to offer some reward or incentive to get them to share this degree of personal information.
Questions about their position at work and job title, what a typical day looks like (work and home), what their current challenges are, their approach to learning new information or acquiring skills, where they hang out online (Facebook vs Instagram, Linkedin etc.) are all very helpful.
The size of the company, the industry and related fields, what publications they subscribe to.
Age (if appropriate), relationship status, number and age of children.
Education level, field of study, career path.
Where do they shop? Preference for online or bricks and mortar?
Do they research a product before purchase and how?
FORMS FOR INFORMATION GATHERING
Any website forms you use can be designed to gather the information you need to create your customer personas. Go beyond the name, age, sex and “where did you hear about us?” routine and try to collect data on education or professional background. For example, ask them what their position is in the company. Don’t overwhelm them though! Every extra question is an added barrier to them staying on the page.
TALK TO YOUR SALES TEAM
Get your sales team’s feedback regarding which leads they are interacting with most. Look at their sales cycles. Can they make any generalisations about the kind of customers that are best served by your business?
LOOK FOR TRENDS IN BUYER BEHAVIOUR
Do you see a sales spike at certain times of the year? Does a buying pattern match with a particular socio-economic group? Your contacts database can help reveal trends in how some leads find and choose your content.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: USING YOUR CUSTOMER PERSONA
After you’ve built their persona, you’ll probably come away with LOTS of info! Use it to create what is basically a fictional character representation of your ideal customer. Go as far as to find a stock image to put a face to your Persona. Add as much detail as you like!
Developing your Customer Persona can be quite involved and take a lot of time and resources but it’s worth it.
Once you have distilled all that data into a specific customer persona use it to create targeted content. It will also help you to sort the customers you want from the ones you’d rather not have. Applying the persona to your marketing plans helps you to further improve the effectiveness of your campaign and reducing marketing costs.