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What is a Marketing Persona?
Marketing personas are archetypes that describe the various goals and observed behavior patterns among your company's potential users and customers. Developing these personas helps you segment and target leads and customers more effectively and give them the content, offers, and support they need most.
In order to develop a marketing persona you first need to break down your target audience into broadly drawn, fictional characters by type of lead or customer. Each character should be given specific traits based on what they are trying to achieve and their behavior patterns inside and outside of their interactions with you. Combined together, those traits make up your marketing personas and will help guide you as you try to serve and reach them online.
What Should My Marketing Persona Profile Include?
Persona Photo and Name - You need to name your persona and to attach an image to the name. The photo should be of a real person, not a cartoon. The name should be one that captures the type of persona this type of person is to your business. For instance, if you sell hamburgers and you know there is a persona who only orders plain, cheddar cheese burgers, you might name her Plain Cheese Charlie. His photo might be a slightly overweight man in his 40s with a surly teenager by his side. Once you give each persona a name and a picture, you can truly visualize how you would try to reach and support this potential customer.
Professional information - Dig in to what your persona does every day. Her roles and responsibilities, challenges and goals will help you provide content and resources that appeal to them uniquely. What does your persona do for a living? Is he senior, middle management, or entry level? Whom does he report to? What constitutes a bad day on the job for him? What would help him get a promotion? Use whatever data you have on hand to answer these questions, but use your imagination, too.
Personal background - Flesh out your portrait of this persona. Where does she spend her leisure time? Where would she rather be when she's at work? How old is she? Does she have children? Is she married? Where does she go on vacation? Ask as many detailed questions as possible and try to understand what really makes your persona tick.
Why is a Marketing Persona Necessary For My Business?
Marketing personas are an essential element of every profitable and successful inbound marketing strategy.
Creating marketing personas allows you to:
Create alignment across your entire organization - Personas serve as internal shorthand when you're talking to your colleagues about different types of leads and customers. When you meet with your marketing, sales, product development, or any other team in your company and mention "Plain Cheese Charlie" they will know exactly who you mean, how they generally approach that type of lead or customer, what his pain points usually are, and how they'd like to solve his problems.
Get more qualified traffic, leads, and customers - Nailing down your personas helps you attract the best possible people into your funnel. For instance, knowing the specifics about your personas will determine your keyword strategy. What is Plain Cheese Charlie searching for online? Does he care about original, gourmet burgers with several different toppings? Probably not. Does her love of the plain and simple also extend to other kinds of consumer goods? How can you play that to your advantage? If you hadn't developed this persona, not only would you not know the answers to these questions, you wouldn't have known to ask them in the first place.
Relate to your customers on a deeper level - It's hard to know what makes Plain Cheese Charlie tick without really getting to know him and putting yourself in his shoes. Understanding your leads and customers on a deeper level will ultimately help you provide them with better customer service, as you'll have a much better idea of why they want or need your product, why they might go to a competitor, and what would make them loyal to you for good.