How well do you know your customer?
Do you know your typical customer? Can you define their key behavioral characteristics? Putting a face on your customer with personas helps to identifying their needs and wants and is one of the best ways to optimize your inbound channels. A persona is simply a fictitious character that embodies a segment of your target audience.
Personas are a critical but often overlooked part of online marketing. Marketers tend to worry about the message, the conversion or even details like tracking. But the reality is that without properly creating and utilizing personas prior to developing your campaigns, you are often guessing as to whether you will have the desired impact on your target audience.
A good marketer knows their target audience, but technically a target audience is not the same thing as a persona. Typically within a target audience a certain demographic and their related marketing data is used to cluster a group of prospects. Key data like age, household income and prior purchases are often used to create clusters of target audience. Unfortunately, this doesn’t include behavioral characteristics. Personas are the tool that you can use to answer these behavioral based questions. Coupled with related information from your target audience, you can’t get a much clearer picture of who you are targeting, what issues they need to solve and how to effectively communicate.
In reality when you create a persona you are creating the missing behavioral element that enables an online marketer to be effective at finding and communicating to your selling prospects. Can you say increased marketing ROI?
You can find a Sample Personas worksheet available here. This form will help you get started in defining your personas. For best results interview prospects, customers and prospects to get real data.