How To Create User Personas for Targeted Marketing

How To Create User Personas for Targeted Marketing
March 28, 2017 James Wolf

No matter how large of a group we reach with our marketing efforts, we should always approach marketing as a one-to-one conversation.

That’s because our customers — like all of us — respond more readily to messages that seem personal.

How can we create personalized messages when they’ll be seen by a diverse group? We choose which customers to target and do some deep thinking about what they need, along with the best approach to reach them. Then, we compile all those thoughts and create a customer persona, or a fictionalized ideal customer, that best represents that specific group.

Customer personas are a great tool to help you develop a marketing plan. User personas also support your entire business strategy, including customer service and product design.

Follow these steps to create customer personas for your company.

 

create user personas

Step 1 – Customer Segmentation

You can group your clients a number of ways, including by their buying behavior, their main problems, or the specific products they’re interested in.

If you’re unsure, try starting with the most valuable or “ideal” client group and then add a few secondary ones.

Think of the best clients you’ve ever had — the ones with the least customer service demands and the most loyalty. These customers mean the most to your business. So, start by targeting this type of customer with your marketing.

Dig into data such as customer retention rates, complaint records, and money spent to customer support.

If your company is too new to have much data (or you simply do not yet track this info), you can still create personas for the group(s) that would benefit the most from your product or service. If your startup is brand new, try mining email conversations with potential clients to get a firsthand feel for their wants and needs.

 

Questions To Ask:

  • Which type of customer brings the most value to my business?
  • What are the main defining factors that distinguish my most valuable customers from each other?

 

Step 2 – Demographics

Now that you’re ready to create your first persona, start with the basics. Describe this customer type based on factors such as age, gender, marital status, career, household income, and education levels.

 

Questions To Ask:

  • Where does this customer work? In what type of career and industry?
  • How old is he/she?
  • What is his/her average household income?
  • What’s their gender, marital status, parenting status, education level?
  • Where do they live and work?

 

Step 3 – The Big Problem

Businesses exist to solve a certain number of problems for their customers. What do you solve for this type of customer or client? Describe the unique value proposition which you provide to your customers, users, or clients.

 

Questions To Ask:

  • What is the specific pain point you address (or hope to address) for this customer?
  • What are they using now to address this problem?
  • What’s missing from available solutions?

 

Step 4 – Goals and Motivation

Next, note what’s important to this customer personally. Why do they use your goods or services? What factors motivate this type of customer?

 

Questions To Ask:

  • What’s the customer’s end goal when it comes to using your product or service? How can you help him/her get there?
  • How do their values and personal goals influence their purchases?

 

Step 5 – Obstacles To Closed Deals

Almost no one will buy from you right away without having any second thoughts. Address those objections up front, in order to eliminate their hesitation and justify their purchase.

 

Questions To Ask:

  • What would stop this customer from buying?
  • What main objections will go through this customer’s head?
  • In what ways can you educate them, in order to justify your goods/services?

 

Step 6 – Attention & Interests

In order to know how to reach this customer, you need to know what he/she likes.

 

Questions To Ask:

  • What does this customer pay attention to during the day? (interests including favorite websites, blogs, magazines, social media, or influencers)?
  • What brands or groups does this customer personally identify with and why?

 

Step 7 – Finishing Details

Finally, give your persona a descriptive name, short bio, and stock photo. This makes it easy for you and your staff to refer to them, as you develop your marketing campaigns. Once you have clearly defined the various customer persona profiles, use these personas in your everyday marketing. Entire marketing campaigns including blogging, email marketing, pay-per-click ads, and SEO/landing pages should be developed with the personas in mind. This allows your organization to segment customers and to provide personalized content accordingly.

 

Other Options

Some customer personas dive deeper than others, including details such as personality type, sensitivity to various prices, and favorite quotes. However, everyone in your team should be able to get a general sense of the customer, within one minute (or less).

If your personas become too detailed or overly complex, it’s likely these newly-formed personas won’t get used at all! Beyond everything else, try not to complicate or spend too much time on this exercise. Keep it simple and revise as you go!

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