You’ve likely heard the term “persona” before, but do you know what they are, why they’re important, and how to use and create them? In this article, we will explore why every company should invest time and resources into developing buyer personas.
What Is a Persona?
A persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer or user. It’s based on research, data, and insights gathered from your target audience to create a detailed profile of a typical customer–essentially, a character that embodies the traits, behaviors, motivations, and pain points of your target audience.
Why Every Company Should Have Personas
Developing personas is a critical step in understanding your customers and creating effective marketing strategies, and it pays off. Personalizing your communication to your target audience delivers a 5x-8x greater ROI than unpersonalized strategies, and 86% of customers say that personalization impacts their buying decision. To put context behind the numbers, here are 4 reasons why every company should develop personas:
- Narrows your target audience: Creating personas allows you to identify your ideal customer, including their demographics, behaviors, and pain points–essential information for digital advertising, content marketing, and sales communication.
- Provides a reference point for decision-making: Personas provide a clear reference point for decision-making across various departments. Consider both the decision-makers and the influencers of those decision-makers in order to get a full picture of the buying process.
- Helps refine messaging: You can tailor your messaging to specific customer segments and their pain points. That personalization can help to drive engagement, increase conversions, and ultimately boost revenue.
- Encourages customer-centric thinking: Personas help to shift the focus of your company to put the needs and preferences of your customers at the forefront of your decision-making. This can lead to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty, which can have long-term benefits for your business.
Use Cases Beyond Marketing
Depending on your business, personas can be used in a variety of ways to help companies understand and connect with their target audience–even beyond marketing. Below are some of the key use cases:
- Product development: Personas can inform the development of new products or the improvement of existing ones by understanding the pain points and needs of specific customer segments.
- Sales: Personas can also be used to develop sales strategies, lead to more effective sales pitches, improved customer satisfaction, and increased revenue.
- Customer service: They can also be used to develop more effective customer service strategies, improving the customer experience and reducing customer churn.
- User experience: Personas can also inform the design of user interfaces, like websites, portals, and the overall user journey based on what your audience values.
Getting Started: What Information Should Be Included?
To create effective personas, it’s important to include a range of information that accurately represents and segments your target audience. Below are the key pieces that should be included:
- Demographics: This includes basic demographic information, such as age, gender, income, education, and geographic location. Demographic information can help you understand the basic characteristics of your target audience.
- Behaviors: This includes information about how your target audience behaves, such as their shopping habits, media consumption, and social media usage. Behavioral information can help you to understand how your target audience interacts with your brand and with the world around them.
- Pain points: This includes information about the pain points and challenges that your target audience faces. Pain points can include anything from frustrations with existing products or services to broader social or economic challenges. Understanding your customers’ pain points can help you to develop products and services that better meet their needs.
- Motivations: This includes information about what motivates your target audience, such as their goals, aspirations, and desires. Understanding your customers’ motivations can help you to create marketing campaigns and products that resonate with their values and aspirations.
- Persona name and photo: Giving your persona a name and photo can help to humanize the persona and make it more relatable to your team. This can help to ensure that the persona is used effectively and consistently across your organization.
Conclusion and Next Steps
Developing personas is the foundation for better understanding and connecting with your customers. By creating detailed, actionable representations of your target audience, you can develop more effective marketing campaigns, product development strategies, and customer service experiences.
While creating personas does require an investment of time and resources, the benefits are clear–you can increase engagement, drive revenue, and build long-term loyalty–making it a no-brainer in today’s competitive landscape.
Knowing where to start with personas can be tricky–especially if you don’t have existing customer data at your fingertips. TribalVision is here to help you navigate your personas and marketing strategy. Get in touch with us!