Buyer personas can be instrumental to successful marketing campaigns – especially online. By giving you a deeper and more complex understanding of the people you want your product or service to appeal to, you can develop targeting campaigns and marketing materials which entice precise demographic groups – we’re all different after all.
This “targeting” approach to marketing, which draws on concrete data about consumers, is especially useful today as machine learning, AI and marketing automation all make embracing all of this data much more manageable and practical.
Want to send a “perfect pitch” to a 25 year old female customer who abandoned her shopping cart at checkout to remind her that her purchase is waiting? That’s totally possible. Want to send an email alert to a 45 year old male customer when an item they viewed on your site is discounted – plus information on other products they might like? Easy peasy!
But to strike the perfect chord with this technology, you’ll need to know more about who you’re selling to…
Whether you compile of the customer data already on your system like loan provider Wonga (take a look at their infographic for inspiration), undertake consumer surveys using tools like Smart Survey or interview customers over the phone (or even one-to-one) to paint a picture of your average customer, this type of research will generate valuable findings you can turn into buyer personas. These personas can then form the foundation of your new marketing strategy, making every approach and strategy you harness more precise and more powerful.
So how can you turn all of this data into personas?
- Condense & collate
The first thing to do with any set of data is to organise it. Transfer all of the information you have to hand into one spreadsheet so you can see clearly what you’re working with.
- Pick out patterns
Next, start exploring your data. Does anything stand out? Are any patterns emerging? Do most of your young customers appear to work in similar sectors? Do homeowners buy more frequently? Try turning your data into different graphs and charts so you can visualise it more clearly and see stand-out trends.
- Outline your personas
Armed with this knowledge, start building your personas, based on the key “stand-out” groups you’ve identified. Make sure you don’t overstretch yourself. Think about how much content you have the capacity to create and the marketing resources you have to hand. How many different sets of materials can you realistically create? Ensure you work within your means. If you have the resources for lots of personas, get as specific as you can. If you can only handle three, keep your definitions broad.
At this stage you’ll want to list their basic stats, based on your research. Average age, gender, education level, living situation, employment, marital status, tech usage etc.
- Flesh out your personas
Now it’s time to start thinking about your personas as real humans and considering their motivations. With their basic details listed, think about what each fact means in terms of why they might want your product or service, what types of content would get their attention and what would provoke them to buy. Keep going with these types of questions until you’ve completely fleshed out the character and can use it as a template for your marketing.