Do you know who your typical customers are? Do you know where they shop? How much money they make in a year? How many kids they have?
As a whole, all these things may not seem important to you compared to the product you sell, but they are important characteristics for your customers and how they make their purchasing decisions.
Having a well-defined persona can help you build a better marketing plan in the long run and help you target your marketing campaigns and offers to the right groups of prospective consumers. At the end of the day, personas put a face to your customer and help you identify their needs and wants.
Knowing persona characteristics can be invaluable to your company as you develop your marketing campaigns and products over time. If you are having trouble reaching your customers in a way that is valuable to your company, you might consider doing some research and building some personas. Here are six core benefits to why establishing well-defined personas is a good idea for you and your customers.
6 Core Insights From Well-Defined Marketing Personas (And How to Leverage Them)
1. An Understanding of Customer Needs/Interests: When you're trying to buy the perfect gift for your mother, spouse, or friend, you can easily visualize them in your head as you shop. You can imagine their needs and wants, the things they'd love, the things they'd be interested in, and all the things they hate. Customer personas work in the same way. They allow you to better understand the needs and wants of your customer base.
How to Leverage It: By knowing the problems your customers face, you can cater your content to your audience in a way that they'll find valuable. Use these insights into your customers' needs and wants to identify the topics your prospects want to learn more about, and create content around those topics.
2. Knowledge of Where Customers Spend Time: Once you know the background of each of your personas, this insight will help you gain a better understanding of where your customers spend their time online, where they go to get their information, and which social networks they typically use to connect with family, friends, and co-workers.
How to Leverage It: Knowing this information will allow you to better target your content and promote it in the places your prospects are most likely to see it. If one of your personas tends to spend more time on Facebook compared to another, who prefers email, you'll know which type of content needs to be in each place. The prospects you want to reach are more likely to react to the content that interests them if it's found in the channels they already populate.
3. Better Quality Leads: So far, your personas have helped you to identify what interests them, which content topics they prefer, and where to find them. What does that all mean exactly? It means you are going to be able to better cater your marketing to the right people in the right places, all which gives you the powerful opportunity to generate better quality leads.
How to Leverage It: Use the information you collect about your prospects to help you make a personal connection through email marketing and be better able to direct your messages in a more personalized way. This will also enable you to build better lead nurturing programs targeted at different personas and improve lead quality for you company, which in turn means better customers!
4. Consistency Across Your Business: At HubSpot, we use personas internally and leverage our knowledge of them constantly. If someone references one person over another, I know exactly which customer group my co-workers are talking about. Across the board, personas create a consistent and specific understanding of each target group of customers within your company.
How to Leverage It: This information is incredibly useful for your sales team. If a lead is designated as one persona over another, Sales can be better able to tailor their sales pitch before even connecting with the lead for the first time. They'll already have an idea of what is important to that lead and their company, they'll be better prepared for the particular questions the lead might ask, and they'll have a clearer understanding of what it will take to close the sale.
5. Richer Closed-Loop Analytics: Once you know which persona will lead to your most ideal customer, you'll also know which leads your marketing and sales team should be spending the most time on attracting and working. This creates more efficiency within your company overall because there is less wasted time dealing with leads that will never purchase or acquiring customers that don’t stick around for long term.
How to Leverage It: Use your closed-loop marketing analytics to identify which of your different marketing personas make better customers. Then allocate your time and money effectively to the right channels that are the most efficient in attracting these better customers.
6. Better Product Development: Not only do personas allow you to generate better quality leads and customers, but they also help you work with your customers and build future products/product features to suit their needs. With well-developed personas, you can create products and services that are more closely aligned to what your customers want, allowing you to better cater to their needs. You'll be more likely to keep customers for the long haul if your products and services grow and change with your customers.
How to Leverage It: Use the information you gather about your different marketing personas to inform and make recommendations to your product development team so you can create killer products that appeal to your customers.
When working with personas, you are really just turning shifting your view of 'customers' to actual people with specific interests, wants, and needs. Get to know your ideal customers better, and you will find that the benefits are endless. How has your company leveraged the use of marketing personas to gain business?
Originally published Dec 13, 2011 7:30:00 PM, updated August 26 2017