With advances in search engine technology over the last several years, search results have become increasingly personalized. Personalized results are terrific for the user, because they are more likely to get exactly what they want. If they get what they want, they are happy and will continue to use the search engine and often the business they have discovered.
While personalization is a wonderful way of pleasing your potential customers, it also means reaching the customers who want to use your company’s products or services. If the people that land on your website or landing pages don’t really want to use your products or services, then your marketing isn’t effective. You are wasting time and money and so are your visitors.
Marketing has always been designed to target specific demographics that contain potential customers. Creating marketing personas fine-tunes that targeting to a laser-sharp point. Instead of marketing to a group of moms of children aged 5 to 10, you can instead market to Susan, a working single mom with a 5-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son. Susan works at night so she can spend quality time with her kids during the day, but relies on a live-in nanny to watch her kids when she is working. Susan lives in Chicago and loves the city, but hates dealing with the traffic especially in the winter. Susan generally works from home but once a week goes into the office for meetings. Meetings are in the afternoons on Wednesdays.
You can see from the short marketing persona of Susan above, that you can get to know Susan very well. Your intimate knowledge of Susan’s lifestyle and needs is a large asset when you want to market to her.
Personas are not people that you think are your best customers. Personas are developed with in-depth research into your own actual best customers.
You can start by surveying your client base to determine who your best customers are. These should be customers who are easy to work with, love your products, fit into the culture your company is creating and return for more. Once you find these customers (around 5 to 10), survey them to find out more about them in exchange for a significant reward. While all of them should answer the same set of questions, encourage them to comment on why they like your company and products or offer stories about how they use them.
With the answers you receive from the surveys, develop outlines of a few marketing personas that you think you want to focus on. You may find that you have one persona that essentially defines your ideal customer. Or you may have 4 different personas that use your products in different ways or for unique purposes. You know your company best, but work with your sales team to see if they recognize the descriptions you create.
You don’t have to market to all of your personas in the same campaign. You can start with one persona and dig really deeply into the psyche of that persona. Questions to ask are:
There are numerous questions that you can add to this list to understand who you are marketing to. Depending on your products or services, industry and other variables, the questions will change. However, the bottom line is understanding the persona so well, that you can personalize the campaign just for them. Your marketing will all be designed to reach that single persona.
Now that you know who the persona is that you are marketing to, you can start creating the campaign. Every piece of marketing content, every strategy, every ad should be creating a connection with this one persona. Think about where this persona hangs out online and offline. Who influences them? What excites them? When you work on making creatives for your ads or apps for mobile devices, always go back to the persona to decide if this approach will work. The more laser-focused your campaign is on the chosen persona, the more conversions you will have during your campaign. The goal is to match the message to the right person at the right time.
Like any marketing campaign, there will points of data that you can set up to track success. You will have to tweak some creatives or wording to improve results. It is important to ensure that all of your ads are trackable and offer metrics that you can follow.
The type of content you create and the channels you select for marketing should all relate back to your targeted persona. If your persona loves shopping on Pinterest and watching YouTube, then it makes sense to market on those channels. However, if they get all of their news and ideas from Instagram and reading The New York Times, then your marketing should focus on those two channels. Content should match the channel and interaction that your persona likes best.
The more you work with marketing personas, the more natural it will be to use them to strategize and implement your marketing. In fact, you may turn around one day and discover that the customer you are talking to is the embodiment of the persona!
If you want to learn more about marketing personas and how you can use them in your own marketing plan, contact us today and we will be happy to discuss it further.