a crucial research step you might be forgetting

importance of customer personas 

         The key to any great marketing campaign is understanding your audience. Imagine your audience is like a teenager; needy, skeptical and just wants to be understood. A great way to connect to your audience and really get inside their heads is to create customer personas. This allows you to empathize with your customers and see things from their side, truly giving them what they need and want. A persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. It is based on market research and interviews with existing customers and is valuable for both B2B and B2C relationships. This research step is one that is often skipped over but has growing value in our media age. Consumers buy from brands that reflect their values and embody their personality. So, start getting to know your personas better than your spouse.

         If companies are not identifying their target audience, how can they accommodate their needs? Many companies believe they already know their audience (they don’t) and that personas are unnecessary (they’re wrong). Those companies fail to realize that audiences and their demands change, trends shift, and technologies evolve. A consistent use and upkeep of customer personas will pave the way for a smooth and successful marketing campaign. Below are four areas where personas can help reach your audience and improve your brand:

Create Personalized Content

Teenagers have selective hearing and so does your audience. Your content will go in one ear and out the other, leaving the consumer saying, “whatever man.” Whether a website, blog, social media post or email, make sure content is relevant to the consumer. Consumers demand authenticity from brands. Customer personas give insight into how you can best shape your content and its format. In B2B situations, personas ensure your content is speaking directly to the wants, needs, and interests of your target market and their industry. It is also important to personalize your content by location and time so the message is relevant to the environment of the consumer.

Personalize Email Marketing Campaigns

Ineffective email marketing is the reason for the “Mark All as Read” button. We’ve all been thankful for that function at some point. If the content is not personalized, viewers will reject the effort completely, because it seems like the company doesn’t care. However, effective email marketing can provide clear results. Consulting your personas here is valuable and will make the interaction more personal. Personas will allow you to tailor ads to individuals and even send emails to a specific group with particular needs. Personalized email marketing will help nurture leads and eventually convert them to customers. Don’t let your emails find a new home in someone’s junk folder.

Improve Your Product

Demands are constantly changing, but is your product? The only way to determine this and adjust is to hear from your audience and, you guessed it, create personas. Listening to your current customers and their demands will lead to ideation and creation of new products or services. These updates can expand your audience and also lead to improvement upon your existing products or services. How would Apple have known consumers wanted a music player, phone, computer, and camera all in one if they hadn’t listened to the needs of their consumers and their environment? And thus, the love story between consumers and the iPhone began and continues, as Apple evolves the product to meet ever-changing consumer wants and needs.  

Identify Appropriate Channels

Finding out how your audience consumes media is a crucial step in effective marketing. It can be as simple as advertising to Grandma in a home and garden magazine instead of Snapchat. Customer personas will give you insights on how to find the right people in the right places. Finding the channels that your audience is consuming most and directing your content to those channels is vital for the delivery of your content. Personas can even give information as detailed as what time of day or how often individuals consume content. Be sure to adjust your content in each channel for maximum accessibility. They are not all the same, and neither are the people engaging with them.

         Creating customer personas allows companies to make consumers a part of the brand story and buyer journey. Existing customers and clients are often very appreciative during interviews that the research is being done to improve their buying experience. Taking the time to conduct research and put together personas shows the buyer that your company values their input and experience. Once you can empathize with your customers, and view them as individuals instead of buyers, a genuine relationship will form and lead to brand loyalty. Hopefully now, utilizing customer personas will seem like a no brainer for your company.

         At Phase 3 we are conducting customer personas based on you and your business goals. So, while reading this post if you thought to yourself, “wow, this is really informative and helpful for my business,” then you understand the value of customer personas. You’re welcome.