Personas are a tool that helps you truly step into your audience’s shoes. They allow you to focus on them, the customer – your target audience.
Personas help you hone in on what they’re looking for in a product, service, or a brand versus what you want to say about yourself. It’s the whole premise of talking with your customer, not at them.
The Dizzying Differences Between Customers
Not all of your customers are the same.
There may be various channels through which your customers come to know your brand, or buy your product/service, and each may respond to your marketing in a different way. Each shop at different frequencies, and each has varying levels of loyalty.
So, if there are so many options and so many avenues to find and purchase from your brand, how can you possibly know every single possible version of the person that buys your product?
Finding Your 20%
The reality is … you can’t. That’s where persona development comes in. It narrows down your key targets to 2-3 types of people who are the MOST likely to buy your products.
You might be thinking, “How is that possible to narrow down to 2 or 3 key individuals? We have a product that appeals to everyone!!” That is probably the number one mistake that we hear our clients making in marketing.
While you may have broad appeal, it’s our job as marketers to home in on the ones that will make the most impact on your sales. It’s consistent with the 80/20 rule that suggests 80% of your company sales come from 20% of your customers.
Persona development forces you to get that granular.
Focus Your Marketing Approach and Messaging Effectiveness
Personas answer questions like …
- Do customers shop mostly digital or spend a lot of time researching online?
- Are they in-store shoppers influenced by word of mouth or what they see?
- Who else influences their buying decisions? Kids, spouses, friends?
- Are they bargain shoppers looking for the best value?
- Where do they consume media? What social media channels are they on?
- Are they avid viewers of Fox News or CNN?
- Are they tech savvy … do they use Apple products or Microsoft products?
Answering these questions provides clarity on WHO these people are, what makes them tick, and how they’re motivated. Which will help you focus your marketing approach and effectively develop messaging that will resonate.
Next Step: Understand Where, and When, to Communicate
To effectively deploy your insights gained from your persona work, you’ll next want to understand where, and when, is best to communicate with your target customers.
Discover more about the buyer journey: How Buyer Journeys Help Build Better Marketing Mixes