Creating a customer persona.
Great customer insights help to create great businesses. But, when it comes to getting inside the head of your target customers, just how deep do you need to go?
One way marketers attempt to to get into a customer’s mind is to create a customer persona.
What is a customer persona?
A research based representation of who your customers are, what they are trying to accomplish, what goals drive their behaviours, how they think, how they buy and ultimately why they make the decisions they do.
When you create a customer persona the ultimate goal is to create a profile of your customer’s decision making process.
The ultimate goal is to create a profile of your customer’s decision making process
How do customer persona’s help a small business marketing strategy?
They help to answer the following questions:
- Who the heck are we going to talk to?
- Why will they care?
- And what can we say that’s relevant to them?!
A detailed buyer persona helps any small business owner to plan out a strategy which is centred around driving customer or client engagement.
For example, user personas are also really useful if you’re creating an SEO plan for your website and can be used to help inform decisions such as:
- What keywords you decide to target
- What pages you have on your website
- The copy and tone of your website and the words you use when referring to your products and services
- Which social media channels you choose to promote your content on
How do I create a customer persona for my small business?
While customer personas can help to streamline your small business marketing strategy they do have one major weakness… they are completely made up.
So to ensure your customer persona becomes a powerful business tool that helps shape the decisions you make about your online marketing ask yourself these five questions
What are your persona’s main problems and what challenges do they face?
- What are those challenges?
- What stops them from overcoming the challenges?
- Who else is involved?
- What is out of their control?
- What do they fear?
What are the preferences of your persona?
- What communication channels do they prefer to use?
- Do they use social media?
- Where do they go to find information?
- Are there any specific blogs or websites they read?
- Where do they spend time online for work and socially?
What does a typical day in the life of my persona look like?
- Where do they work, how do they get there and how many days a week?
- What level are they currently at – e.g. junior or management?
- How is their job measured?
- What knowledge and tools do they use in their job?
- What skills are required to do the job?
- Who are the decision makers that impact on them?
- How do they spend their social time?
- Do they enjoy their job?
What are their specific goals and objectives
What are they ultimately trying to achieve?
- More time
- More leisure time
- More revenue
- Ability to spend more time with the family
- A more comfortable home
- Security for their family
- What are their career goals?
- What are their lifestyle aspirations?
What research do I have access to already?
Consider what you can already tap into to help build up accurate and realistic personas:
- Facebook insights
- Google Analytics data
- Customer feedback and interviews
- Customer database
- Interview your sales team
- CRM data
Once you’ve noted down answers to the questions use a customer persona template:
Here are a couple you can use:
Remember a customer persona is a living document. Your customers needs, challenges and desires are constantly changing – and to remain relevant and useful to your business and marketing strategy, so should your customer persona.
For more tips and tools check out our free small business marketing toolkit.