The importance of detailed target personas and how to create them.
Understanding your target personas and segmentation is the best way to increase your overall marketing success. 47% of companies who exceed sales and revenue goals consistently maintain their personas - Cintell. By understanding, if there are consistencies in characteristics such as buyer behaviour, values, ages and locations, you are able to target and speak to your ideal audience easily.
Personas dictate everything from page structures, functionality, content ideas and lead generation campaigns. As they are the foundation of all messaging and targeting strategy they must be detailed and thorough.
What is a target persona?
A target persona is an in-depth description of your ideal customer. This is a fictional person, representing the characteristics of the type of people you want to potentially work with. By bringing these personas to life and giving the persona a name, considering their demographic details, interests, and behavioural traits, you will be able to better understand their goals, pain points, and buying patterns which will help you in directing your marketing strategy.
By having a clear picture of who you are trying to target, you can begin to craft your marketing messages carefully to attract them as if they were a real person. Your target persona will be used throughout the business marketing and strategy to maintain consistency, from the customer service team to the social media team, aligning all who are involved.
Developing your personas
To build your target personas and identify all of the information you need to know about them, there are six key questions you need to be asking: who, where, what, why, how and when?
It is good to know what they do and where they are but it’s key to understand your prospect at a psychological level also. This takes shape in terms of their beliefs, values and what they’re feeling, you can build a much deeper understanding of your potential clients and use these insights to create future marketing and business activities.
1. Who are they?
This area can be kept simple by looking into the areas that you are hoping to reach in your marketing strategy. Who are you hoping to reach? What is the job title or role you want to attract? When considering this, you need to also look at the personas decision-making capabilities. Are they the main decision-maker or are they key influencers in the process? The messaging you use to reach this persona will be different depending on the answer to this question and will also change the way they respond and interact with your marketing campaigns.
2. Where are they?
There are two main areas that this area needs to cover: industry and geography. This will depend on the types of industries you are targeting or if it is a geographical location.
Understanding where your ideal customers are based will allow you to focus your communication efforts more clearly and also will help you find the right areas to be marketing in, whether this is through LinkedIn targeting or advertisements in local areas.
3. What are their goals?
Understanding what motivates them is key to understanding targeting prospects. By focusing on what motivates them and what they will want to achieve through your businesses offering will also affect your marketing messaging and show the potential client that you are able to help them achieve their goals.
4. Why are they struggling?
This is the most important question of them all. Focusing on their pain points is the perfect way to solve their problems through your businesses product or services. You can position yourself clearly in a way that shows you as their ideal solution, this will allow you to achieve success in all of your communications.
5. How can you help and how can you reach them?
Positioning your business in a way that serves your audience’s motivators and pain points is critical. You can focus your efforts on understanding the challenges they are facing and use emotive marketing strategies to show how they will feel after they have solved their issues through your business. In this area, you can focus on the types of content which will resonate with them most effectively, whether it be video, long-form or social media.
6. When’s the best time?
Understanding the best time to reach your ideal customer is crucial to your personas. You need to consider their schedule and work out the particular days or times that they’re less busy and might be more responsive.
Once target personas have been created, we always ask:
What are the headline features that each persona would care about from your solution that are specific/unique to your business?
This question will enable you to dive deeper into unique selling points as well as your service solutions to establish what really matters when users are comparing across the market i.e. with competitors. This final but important question supplies added context so you can always ensure the understanding of customer needs and help to sell why your product or service is different and should be picked over others.
Using personas for successful marketing communications
After answering all of these questions you should feel much more confident in who you are targeting and how to go about doing so. However, once you have created them, they are by no means a finished product. Personas should evolve as you build your knowledge and should be updated as and when more information becomes available. You should consider multiple types of personas that identify with each of your audience segments.
Once you have a clear understanding of all of your personas within your audience segments you can begin to incorporate these in your marketing and communications strategies. Overall the more you understand your audience the more you will be able to tailor your approach to make them trust and feel like you really do understand them. Ultimately, they will be more likely to consider you to solve their business challenges.
At Rawnet, we make sure that our client’s personas and audience segments are clear and refined at the very start of all projects. It is part of the foundation of creating and building a successful marketing strategy.
If you are still unsure of how to work out your personas or what areas to start with feel free to get in touch with us here.